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Rust diseases in wheat are the major threat to wheat production and yield gains. The breakdown in resistance of certain major genes and new emerging aggressive races of rusts are causing serious concerns in all main wheat growing areas of the world. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to search for new sources of resistance genes or QTL's for effective utilization in future breeding programs. In total 100 wheat genotypes were evaluated for seedling and adult-plant resistance to stem rust races TKTTF and TTKSK at Tel Hadya-Syria, and Njoro-Kenya, and Kelardasht-Iran. Evaluation to Yr27 virulent stripe rust race was carried out at Tel Hadya and Terbol-Lebanon research stations. In this study we used genome wide association studies (GWAS) to identify markers or QTLs linked to stem rust and stripe rust races using Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT?) in selected 35 Iranian wheat genotypes. The association of markers and phenotypes was carried out using a unified mixed-model approach (MLM) as implemented in the genome association and prediction integrated tool (GAPIT). Out of 3,072 markers, 986 were polymorphic and used for marker trait associations. A total of 44 DArT markers were identified to be significantly (p<=0.01) associated with studied traits in 16 genomic regions 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A, 6A, 7A, 1B.1R, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 5B.7B, 6B, 7D and an unknown region. Among associated markers, 34 were linked to stem and nine to stripe rust. They were found on 16 genomic regions on chromosome arms 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A, 6A, 7A, 1B.1R, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 5B.7B, 6B, 7D and an unknown region. Associated markers explained phenotypic variation ranging from 21 to 65%. In addition to validation of previously identified genes, this study revealed new QTL's linked to stem and stripe rust which will assist breeders to develop new resistant varieties.
Emergence of new virulent races of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) to stripe (yellow) rust resistance genes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has historically resulted in severe yield losses worldwide. We conducted a study to characterize the virulence profiles of Pst races prevalent in Kenya from historic (1970-1992) and recent collections (2009-2014). Pst isolates collected during surveys in Kenya were characterized at the Global Rust Research Centre (GRRC), Denmark. Yellow rust differential sets (wheat lines with known Yr resistance genes), and strain-specific sequence-characterized-amplified-region (SCAR) markers were used to group the Pst isolates as Pst1 or Pst2. Virulence to Yr1, Yr2, Yr3,Yr6, Yr7, Yr8, Yr9, Yr17, Yr25, Yr27, and the seedling resistance in AvocetS were detected. A total of 12 virulence profiles /races were detected in isolates obtained during 1970 to 1992, while six races were detected from samples collected between 2009 to 2014. In both periods, races with virulence profiles Yr2, Yr6, Yr7, Yr8, Yr25, Yr27, Avs and Yr2, Yr6, Yr7, Yr8, Yr17, Yr25, AvS were common. The SCAR results revealed that both Pst1 and Pst2 strains were present in the Pst isolates tested, Pst1 even in isolates from the 1970s. Additional isolates were also identified with neither Pst1 nor Pst2 profiles. From our findings, race analysis is key to understand the race diversity and pre-breeding efforts for effective resistance gene deployment.
Emergence of Pgt race Ug99 and rapid proliferation of lineal highly virulent races imminently threaten Kenyan wheat. Devastating epidemics have led to huge losses among smallholder farmers who invariably are unable to spray appropriately and in situations where susceptible varieties are grown. To combat stem rust, the Kenya wheat improvement program seeks to release high yielding stable genotypes with suitable levels of disease resistance. Moreover, detection of genotypes that are adapted to rain-fed environments is an overarching objective. Six hundred and seventeen genotypes from various CIMMYT nurseries (PCBW, EPCBW, PCHPLUS, and 9th SRRSN) were selected based on plant type and reaction to stem rust at Njoro. The reconstituted nursery-KSRON, was sown in the main season of 2016 at Njoro and Timau for further evaluation. Forty red grained lines depicting R-MR infection types, severity of 30% or less, and average Thousand Kernel Weight of >40g were then selected to constitute a yield trial. At each of eight diverse environments, trials also comprising four commercial varieties as checks, were designed in RCBD, three replicates laid out in contiguous array of 8 rows x 10 m plots. Genotype (G), Environment (E) and GE interactions effects were estimated by fitting the AMMI model to yield data, supported by a biplot visualization of the results. Analysis revealed significant (P ?0.01) genotype (G), environment (E), and GE interactions. The first three principal components (PC) explained ~78% of the observed variation. Environment was the predominant source contributing over 85% to total sum of squares. The biplot pointed to at least four environments that were highly correlated. By classifying genotypes based on Shukla's stability variance and Kang's stability rating, six genotypes (R1402, R1411, R1424, R1481, R1484, and R1486) were deemed high yielding and stable, and thus suitable candidates for further testing through the release pipeline.
Studies have shown that women farmers are worse off than the male counterparts in terms of adoption of improved varietal technology and hence they experience low productivity. This technology adoption gender gap affects agricultural development considering that women in Kenya play a significant role in agriculture and food production. The link between gender and adoption is likely to vary across cultures and over time. The hypothesis of significant gender differences in access to and use of productive resources and adoption of improved wheat varieties was tested. Based on bivariate analysis, significant differences in access and use of productive resources between men and women farmers were observed. Men were more likely to access credit, extension services, own and cultivate more lands compared to women. Similarly, women in female-headed households were less likely to access the productive resources compared to women in male-headed households. The factors that affect adoption of improved wheat varieties among smallholder farmers were analysed with a specific focus on women. In contrast to the conventional model of using gender of the household head, gender and plot levels analyses were conducted. The results show that the gender of the field owner had a negative effect on adoption of improved wheat varieties. This indicates that, men were more likely to adopt improved wheat varieties, compared to women farmers. Moreover, the level of education of the household head, household size, and access to credit and extension services were observed to significantly increase the likelihood of farmers adopting improved wheat varieties. In the same framework, female farmers in male-headed households who had access to credit were more likely to adopt improved wheat varieties while there was greater probability of adoption of improved wheat varieties among female farmers in female-headed households who had access to agriculture extension and belonged to a farmer organization
Since 1998, when Pgt race TTKSK (Ug99) was first identified in Uganda, seven variants in the Ug99 race group have been reported in nine countries in eastern and southern Africa. Five of these variants (TTKSK, TTKST, TTTSK, PTKSK, and PTKST) have been observed in Kenya. Increased surveillance efforts in recent years have enabled detection of new virulence combinations that threaten wheat production. Three new variants in the Ug99 race group were identified from samples collected in 2013 and 2014 in Kenya. A new race, TTHST that is identical to TTKST but avirulent on Sr30 (IT 2-), was identified from a sample collected in the Central Rift Valley Region in 2013. In 2014, two new races, TTKTK and TTKTT, were identified from a total of nine samples (six collected from cv. Robin, and one from each of Eagle10, NJRBW II, and barley) in multiple regions. These two races are of special concern as both are virulent on SrTmp, a gene that is effective against all previously known races in the Ug99 group. Resistance gene SrTmp is postulated to be the source of TTKSK resistance in cv. Robin (released in 2011 in Kenya, also postulated to have Sr2) and cv. Digalu (released in 2005 in Ethiopia). The presence of new races with virulence on SrTmp may explain the high levels of stem rust severity observed in wheat cultivar Robin in Kenya in the past two years. Genotypic relationships between these new races and known races in the Ug99 race group are being characterized using SNP markers. Cultivars and elite breeding lines from Kenya, CIMMYT, and the US are being evaluated for seedling reactions to race TTKTT. With the detection of these new races, there are a total of eight variants in the Ug99 race group in Kenya.
Limited but targeted stem rust race characterization was undertaken in Kenya in 2004 and 2005 which led to the detection of Ug99 present in Kenya and designation of Ug99 as race TTKS (based on North American stem rust race nomenclature system). Further surveillance in 2006 and 2007 detected variants of TTKS with virulence on Sr24 (TTKST) and Sr36 (TTTSK), respectively. Stem rust surveillance was undertaken at an extended level in 2008 and 2009 within predominant wheat growing regions of Kenya. Three hundred and sixty farms were surveyed from regional districts of Naivasha, Narok, Nakuru, Laikipia, Meru, Uasin-Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo and Trans-Nzioa, during 2008 main season (May to September and December). The information from farmers indicated that more than 95% of these farms were sprayed with fungicides. Despite the use of fungicides, stem rust was detected in 67% of the surveyed farms. Stem rust ranged from trace amount -100% in severity with minimum infection in Naivasha district (40%) and maximum in Narok district (90%). Yellow rust was detected in 22% of the farms. Out of one hundred and twenty-six stem rust samples collected, 37 and 39 (a total of 76 ) samples were sent to Cereal Disease Laboratory (CDL) Minnesota, USA and Cereal Research Laboratory of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada respectively, for race typing using the respective differentials used by these labs. From the 39 collections sent to Canada, 17 (43%) survived, of which majority were typed to TTKST (65%) followed by TTKSK (18%), PTKST (12%) and mixture of TTKST and TTKSK (5%). The CDL typed vast majority of pathotypes as TTKSK (84%) followed by TTKST and TTTSK (7% each). The combined results of two labs indicated that predominant frequency in Kenya in 2008 was TTKSK (51%) followed by TTKST (31%), PTKST (6%) and TTTSK (6%). The frequency of TTKST significantly increased in 2008 compared to 2007 which is not surprising, given that Sr24 carrying wheat cultivar KS Mwamba is cultivated on large acreage in Kenya. In 2009, 262 farms were surveyed from regional districts of Narok, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Meru, Uasin-Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo and Trans-Nzioa. The 2009 season experienced heavy drought in many areas. Nevertheless, stem rust was detected in 79% of the farms with disease severity ranging from trace to 100%. Yellow rust was detected in 15% of the farms. Stem rust infection ranged from 0 to 100% with minimum infection in Nyandarua (18%), Laikipia (42%) and maximum in Uasin-Gishu and Elgeyo (100% each). Out of seventy-four stem rust samples collected, 55 samples were sent to Canada for race typing. Only 20% of the samples survived, of which majority were typed to TTKST (50%), PTKST (34%) and PTKSK (16%). Borlaug Global Rust Initiative 2010 Technical Workshop / Poster Abstracts 7 The 2009 results did not depict real situation of predominance of pathogenic variability because of small sample size, however it provided fair indication that race TTKST is still the most prevalent. This information generated on the distribution of stem rust races, and the incidence of stem rust is important for anticipatory breeding and release of cultivars with effective sources of resistance in Kenya, and at same time mitigating global threat of stem rust by reducing intensity of stem rust inoculum in East Africa.
The East Africa program of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) was launched to reduce the scale and scope of wheat stem rust epidemics in Kenya and Ethiopia, and to mitigate the global threat of virulent and dangerous rust races originating from this region. Since the launch in 2005, the screening facilities in Kenya and Ethiopia have helped to determine the extent of the world’s vulnerability to stem rust race Ug99 and its variants, identify diverse sources of resistance including adult plant resistance based on minor genes, and catalyze a comprehensive global response, leading to expanded awareness, expanded research and breeding activities, and resource mobilization. This paper reviews the role and achievements of the eastern African screening facilities along with the opportunities and challenges faced by the facilities during the ongoing global response to the emergence of Ug99 and its variants.