Wheat stem rust (Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici) race TTKSK (Ug99), with virulence to the majority of the world's wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivars, has spread from Uganda throughout eastern Africa, Yemen, and Iran. The identification and spread of variants of race TTKSK with virulence to additional stem rust resistance genes has reminded breeders and pathologists of the danger of deploying major resistance genes alone. In order to protect wheat from this rapidly spreading and adapting pathogen, multiple resistance genes are needed, preferably from improved germplasm. Preliminary screening of over 700 spring wheat breeding lines and cultivars developed at least 20 years ago identified 88 accessions with field resistance to Ug99. We included these resistant accessions in the stem rust screening nursery in Njoro, Kenya for two additional seasons. The accessions were also screened with a bulk of North American isolates of P. graminis f. sp. tritici in the field in St. Paul, MN. In order to further characterize the resistance in these accessions, we obtained seedling phenotypes for 10 races of P. graminis f. sp. tritici, including two races from the race TTKSK complex. This phenotyping led to the identification of accessions with either adult-plant or all-stage resistance to race TTKSK, and often North American races of P. graminis f. sp. tritici as well. These Ug99 resistant accessions can be obtained by breeders and introgressed into current breeding germplasm.
Sources of Resistance to Stem Rust Race Ug99 in Spring Wheat Germplasm