The objective of this study was to characterize seedling and adult plant resistance to all three rusts in a set of 40 bread wheat varieties currently cultivated in Tajikistan. Gene postulation based on multi-pathotype seedling test data and adult plant responses identified Yr2, Yr9, Yr17 and Yr27; Lr10 and Lr26; and Sr5, Sr6, Sr10, Sr11, Sr31 and Sr38. The effects of slow rusting, adult plant, pleiotropic resistance genes Lr34/Yr18/Sr57 and Yr30/Lr27/Sr2 were observed in the field and confirmed with molecular markers. Furthermore, molecular markers diagnostic for Yr9/Lr26/Sr31 and Yr17/Lr37/Sr38 were assessed on all varieties. Genes Lr34/Yr18/Sr57, Yr9/Lr26/Sr31 and Yr27 were identified in varieties Sarvar, Vahdat, Oriyon, Isfara, Ormon, Alex, Sadokat, Ziroat-70, Iqbol, Shokiri, and Safedaki Ishkoshimi based on phenotypic and genotypic results. Some lines were highly resistant to stripe rust (4 varieties), leaf rust (5) and stem rust (9), but the genes responsible could not be identified. They may possess new resistance genes. We thus identified combinations of major and minor rust resistance genes in Tajik wheat varieties. These varieties can now be used by breeders in Tajikistan as crossing parents to develop new varieties with durable resistance to the rusts.
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