Diversity of resistance genes in candidate cultivars for planting in the overwintering area of central Shaanxi province, China
China is the largest stripe rust epidemic area in the world. Central Shaanxi, as an important stripe rust overwintering zone for the disease serves as a “bridge” for the pathogen, where early sown wheat infected during the previous autumn provides inoculum for spring epidemics in more eastern regions. Studies of resistance and Yr-gene distribution among local candidate cultivars provide valuable insights into the influence of host genotype on selection of the rust pathogen population. A total of 183 local advanced lines from 2009 to 2011 were tested for seedling resistance with 12 Pst races in the greenhouse, and with mixed races at Tianshui in Gansu province. Gene postulations were based on the seedling response data and molecular markers. Four (2.2%) entries were resistant at all growth stages; 15 (8.2%) were resistant as adult plants; 164 (89.6 %) were susceptible to one or more races at the seedling or adult stages; and 40 were resistant to the currently prevalent races CYR32 and/or CYR33, but susceptible to at least one of the potentially important races Su11-4, Su11-5 and Su11-7, V26/CM42 and V26/Gui22. All entries showed seedling stage susceptibility at Tianshui. Postulated genes included Yr7, Yr9, Yr10, Yr17, Yr18, and Yr24/Yr26. Yr5, Yr15 and Yr61, currently effective against all Chinese races, were not present. Although advanced wheat lines bred in Shaanxi may be diverse our results show that most of them are highly susceptible to one or more prevalent or low frequency races in Shaanxi or adjacent Gansu. This situation indicates that Shaanxi farmers should be using partial adult plant resistances to reduce inoculum levels and hence reduce the amount of primary inoculum spread to more easterly wheat growing areas.