Stem rust is an important disease of wheat and barley. Barley is genetically vulnerable to stem rust with few identified resistance genes and sources. Stem rust resistance breeding is largely based on the gene Rpg1, first incorporated into North American barley cultivars in the 1940s. To identify potentially new resistance sources, the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Barley iCore Collection (1,860 accessions) was evaluated for reaction to stem rust at the seedling and adult stages. The adult stage evaluations were conducted at Njoro, Kenya (race TTKSK/TTKST), and St. Paul, Minnesota (race QCCJB), for two seasons, and the seedling tests (race TTKSK) in the BSL-3 greenhouse at St. Paul, Minnesota. At St. Paul, between 7 and 10% (132-203) of the accessions exhibited resistance, whereas in Kenya, 11-14% (218-261) were resistant. Correlation between years was higher in Kenya (0.60) than it was at St. Paul (0.48). Approximately 15% (277) of the collection gave moderately low to low reactions to TTKSK at the seedling stage. From these initial tests, 290 accessions were chosen based on diversity of reaction, origin of plant material, or stability across environments. These accessions were then further evaluated with a suite of races at the seedling stage to postulate resistance genes. Of these selections, 244 gave reactions suggesting they carry adult plant resistance. The remaining 46 accessions gave low to very low reactions to one or more races. Based on country of origin and resistance spectrum 15 accessions were predicted to have the rpg4/Rpg5 complex, including a subset from Switzerland. The remaining 31 have a reaction spectrum, country of origin or pedigree that does not suggest the presence of the rpg4/Rpg5 complex. Molecular tests will be used to confirm the presence of this complex in these materials.
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Stem rust resistance genes Sr39 (RL6082) and Sr36 (Cook) were transferred from Aegilops speltoides and Triticum timopheevi to chromosome 2B of wheat. Both genes are located on large translocated segments. Genotypes carrying Sr36 and Sr39 produce infection types (ITs) 0; and 2, respectively, against avirulent pathotypes. This investigation was planned to study the genetic relationship between these genes with the aim of combining them in a single genotype. Seedling tests on RL6082/Cook F3 lines showed complete repulsion linkage [25 Sr39Sr39sr36sr36 (IT2-) : 53 Sr39sr39Sr36sr36 (IT2-, IT0;) : 13 sr39sr39Sr36Sr36 (IT 0;)], and preferential transmission of the Ae. speltoides segment over the T. timopheevi segment was evident from the segregation ratio. The Sr39-carrying translocation was shortened by Niu et al. (2011; Genetics 187: 1011-1021) and the genetic stock carrying the shortest segment was named RWG1. Based on the reported location of Sr39 in the smaller alien segment in RWG1, we predicted that it should recombine with Sr36. F3 lines derived RWG1/Cook were phenotyped for stem rust response at the two-leaf stage and again complete repulsion linkage between Sr39 and Sr36 was observed [23 Sr39Sr39sr36sr36 (IT2-) : 78 Sr39sr39Sr36sr36 (IT0;, IT2-) : 68 sr39sr39Sr36Sr36 (IT 0;)]. In contrast to the cross involving the large Sr39 translocation, preferential transmission of the T. timopheevi segment was observed. These results indicated that a genetic determinant of meiotic drive had been deleted in the shortened Ae. speltoides segment. Genotyping with the co-dominant STS marker rwgs28 matched the phenotypic classification of F3 families. Marker rwgs28 was diagnostic for the Ae. speltoides segment, but the rwgs28 allele amplified in Cook was not T. timopheevi-specific.
The wild relatives of wheat represent a vast resource of potentially useful genes for agriculture. The genus Aegilops has provided several rust resistance genes used in commercial cultivars. Here we report progress on mapping of potentially new stem and leaf rust resistance from Ae. caudata, Ae. searsii and Ae. mutica (Amblyopyrum muticum). Addition lines derived from the amphiploids Alcedo/ Ae. caudata, TA3368, CS/ Ae. mutica, TA8024 (both from Wheat Genetics Resource Center, Kansas State University, USA) and CS/ Ae. searsii TE10 (kindly provided by Dr Moshe Feldman, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel) were produced after backcrossing the amphiploids with Australian cv. Angas or Westonia. Backcrossed generations were screened for stem rust and leaf rust responses and both resistant and susceptible plants were sampled for DNA marker analysis. Stem rust resistant plants derived from the Ae. caudata amphiploid and leaf rust resistant plants derived from the Ae. searsii amphiploid showed the presence of non-wheat marker bands after hybridizing restricted genomic DNA with the Triticeae group 5 RFLP probe PSR128, and after PCR using EST-based primers specific for Triticeae group 5. Susceptible plants did not show those non-wheat molecular markers. Hence, stem rust resistance from Ae. caudata was allocated to chromosome 5C, and the resistance gene is temporarily named SrAec1t. Leaf rust resistance from Ae. searsii was allocated in a similar manner to chromosome 5Ss, and is temporarily named LrAesr1t. Leaf rust resistance transferred from Ae. mutica was traced to a 6T chromosome after associating resistance with the presence of Triticeae group 6 RFLP probes (including BCD001, BCD269, BCD276, BCD1426, CDO772, CDO1380, WG933) and that gene is temporarily named LrAmm1t. The addition lines involving the 5C, 5Ss and 6T chromosomes were crossed with Sears’ ph1b mutant to induce homoeologous recombination with related wheat chromosomes.