Bread wheat is the most important staple crop in Morocco. However, the low national production represents less than 50% of national need. Yellow (stripe) rust (Pst) and Septoria tritici blotch (STB) are the most important foliar diseases limiting bread wheat production in Morocco. The objective of this study was to identify effective sources of resistance to Pst and STB and to select candidate lines displaying high yield and resistance traits. A total of 194 bread wheat accessions provided by ICARDA and CIMMYT were evaluated during 2014 for grain yield and reaction to STB and yellow rust. The field trials were carried out at Douyet station, a key Moroccan rainfed location, and were arranged in a replicated complete block design of 3 replicates. For rust, each entry was scored using the modified Cobb scale when the susceptible check had reached 60S. The Saari Prescott scale was used to score STB reactions. The crop season was characterized by early and late drought associated with high temperatures after flowering. About 50% of accessions (99) showed high yields ranging from 1% to 55% above the highest national check, Arrehane (1.86 t/ha). About 48% (93 accessions) were highly resistant to moderately resistant to yellow rust and about 84% (164 accessions) were resistant to moderately resistant to STB. Overall, about 30% (58 lines) of accessions were high yielding with final disease severities ranging from 0-10% for yellow rust and from resistant to moderately resistant for STB. This group incorporates potentially valuable traits beneficial for our wheat breeding program. QUAIU*2/KINDE was the most promising accession with the highest grain yield (2.9 t/ha) combined with foliar disease resistance. Further multi-environment screening and field evaluations are required before recommending accessions for potential release.
Primary Author: Bennani, National Institute of Agricultural Research, INRA, Morocco
Wheat is the world's most widely grown food crop. New races of pathogens frequently overcome current resistant varieties. To address this issue Algeria has strategies for immediate action, medium term protection and long-term research efforts to develop new resistant wheat varieties. Yellow rust is a very important disease of wheat in Algeria where 60% of the wheat crop is grown under cooler high elevation climate conditions (2?C ? 15?C). Crop losses reached 80% during the 2004/2005 epidemics. Strategies adopted to reduce the risk of wheat rust are ongoing yearly surveillance, awareness, and early warning systems to farmers; and breeding and developing new varieties with high yield potential and durable resistance. Several highly resistant varieties (Tiddis, Boumerzoug, Massine, Akhamokh and Yacine) were selected and promoted following seed multiplication and commercial release. They are also widely used in crosses to improve local varieties. The newly released varieties are being distributed to farmers that grow susceptible varieties. This gene deployment will provide a natural barrier between eastern to western Algeria to intercept the major direction of air flow. Fungicide control is now routinely applied soon after rust detection or even preemptively. The level of awareness for wheat rusts across Algeria is now very high. Training among farmers for visual detection is widely promoted by plant protection and extension services. These strategies have been very effective in mitigating the threat of wheat stripe rust such that losses have not exceeded 10% over the last five years.
Primary Author: Bentounsi, University Mentouri of Constantine, Algeria
Stem rust (Puccinia graminis tritici) (Pgt) epidemics have been reported from many wheat growing areas of the world. Stem rust races with virulence to Sr31 (Ug99 type races),are a threat to wheat producing African countries. Currently 11 different variants of the Ug99 lineage have been reported from different countries. Despite no report of Ug99 variants from any of the South Asian countries, the efforts are in place to counter the possible introduction of virulent wheat stem rust races. Stem rust surveillance has been a major component of the rust resistance breeding worldwide. This study reports virulence phenotypes and functional SSR marker based genotypes among stem rust collections in the Indian subcontinent during 2009 to 2015.
Wheat stem rust samples were analyzed on differential sets used for pathotype identification in India. Twelve pathotypes of Pgt were identified in a total of 574 samples analyzed. Pgt pathotypes 40A and 11 were identified in 36% and 32% of the samples, respectively. The stem rust resistance genes Sr7a, Sr26, Sr27, Sr31, Sr32, Sr33, Sr39, Sr40, Sr43, SrTmp and SrTt3 were found to confer resistance to the field population identified during this period. The analysis of SSR marker genotypes data revealed a high degree of variability in the Pgt population, with mean gene diversity and polymorphic information content (PIC) values of 0.56 and 0.50, respectively. STRUCTURE software divided the Pgt populations in to four subpopulations with some admixtures. The FST values of pairs of subpopulations ranged from 0.35 to 0.93 which indicated that the four sub-populations were significantly differentiated. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) determined that 16%, 69% and 15% of the totl variation was between population, among and within individuals, respectively. The information generated here could be a useful guide for resistance breeding and gene deployment programmes for saving South Asian wheat from stem rust.
Primary Author: Bhardwaj, ICAR-IIWBR, Regional Station, Flowerdale,Shimla 171002 H.P. India
Leaf rust of wheat causes considerable losses worldwide. New pathotypes may cause previously resistant varieties to become susceptible. Identification of pathotypes and their relationships provide information for breeding efforts and designing management strategies. Traditional identification of pathotypes is based on responses of differential hosts. At present 50 pathotypes of P. triticina are maintained in the National collection. To determine variability and relationships at the molecular level we conducted analyses with 26 SSR primers, eight of which were polymorphic. Binary (0 or 1) molecular data generated by NTSYS-pc was used to construct a phylogenetic tree. Cluster analysis was done using the unweighted pair group arithmetic means (UPGMA) method in the SAHN program of NTSYS-pc. Pathotype groups and subgroups were determined based on the Jaccard similarity coefficients (JC). Manual observations indicated seven major groups. Among them, two groups each have one pathotype (pathotypes 16 and 17). Jaccard similarity coefficients supported groupings based on pathogenicity data. For example, pathotypes in the race 12 group (12, 12-1, 12-3, 12-4, 12-6, 12-7, 12-8, but excluding 12-2 and 12-5) had similarity coefficients greater than 0.7. Similar observations were recorded for the race 77 group. Maximum similarity was observed between 12-3 and 12-7 (JC value: 0.89) followed by 12-3, 12-7 and 12-6 (JC value: 0.82). Based on the phylogenetic tree and similarity coefficients data, there was substantial diversity among pathotypes. Thus SSR marker data can be used for effective characterization of pathotypes and for making evolutionary inferences.
Primary Author: Bhardwaj, Indian Council of Agricultural Research
An effective partnership between CIMMYT, KALRO, EIAR and Delivering Genetic Gains in Wheat (DGGW) project on global stem rust phenotyping has made a significant progress and impact on the Global wheat community in addressing the threat of Ug99 race group and other important stem rust races in the region. International stem rust phenotyping networks play a key role in evaluating global wheat germplasm from many countries and institutions: identifying new sources of resistance, pre-breeding, CIMMYT-Kenya shuttle breeding, pathogen survey and surveillance, varietal release and genomic selection. About 600,000 lines have been screened against Pgt race Ug99 and derivatives since 2005, and the screening capacity at KALRO has increased to 50,000 lines each year from over 20-25 countries and research institutions each year. The results from international nurseries show a shift to higher frequencies of lines with resistance to race Ug99 since the screening activities were initiated in 2008.
KALRO and EIAR and several national programs have a dynamic and successful breeding programs that benefit from collaboration, testing, and release of materials coming out of the CIMMYT breeding program. The release of over 15 varieties in Kenya as well as in Ethiopia and more than 90 varieties released in several countries globally over the years is a testament to the success of the program. with spillover effects of varieties released in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda.
CIMMYT-Kenya shuttle breeding has resulted in rapid recycling of over 2000 breeding populations each year between Mexico and Kenya to evaluate and select lines in early generations against virulent stem rust races in Kenya to ensure lines have adequate levels of resistance are advanced not only in early generations of breeding cycle but also materials in the yield trails (10,000 annually) that are later constituted as international nurseries and distributed to National programs and partners.
Primary Author: Bhavani, CIMMYT
Two new races of the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) stem rust pathogen, representing the fifth and sixth variants described within the Ug99 lineage, were detected in South Africa. Races TTKSP and PTKST (North American notation) were detected in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Except for Sr24 virulence, race TTKSP is phenotypically identical to TTKSF, a commonly detected race of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) in South Africa. PTKST is similar to TTKSP except that it produces a lower infection type on the Sr21 differential and has virulence for Sr31. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) analysis confirmed the genetic relationship amongst TTKSF, TTKSP, PTKST and TTKSK (Ug99). TTKSK, PTKST and TTKSF grouped together with 99% similarity, while sharing 88% genetic resemblance with TTKSP. These four races in turn shared only 31% similarity with other South African races. It is proposed that TTKSP arose locally as a single step mutation from race TTKSF, whereas PTKST probably represents an exotic introduction of Pgt to South Africa.
Primary Author: Botma Visser, Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa
Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), the cause of wheat stripe rust, is one of the most important pathogens of wheat. Attempts have been made in the past to characterize the worldwide genetic structure of Pst populations, excluding Canada. Characterization of 59 isolates identified 33 races with three most common races representing half of the population and subtle differences in races of eastern and western prairies. For molecular characterization, 48 isolates were sequenced to obtain SNPs and genotyped with Pst-specific SSR markers. Isolates that were suspected of recombination based on SNP data were examined for their telia production ability as a proxy for sexual recombination. The study revealed that the majority of the population was clonal, however, not exclusively clonal, with the existence of four genetic lineages. Two lineages previously reported were identified: PstS0, representing an old northwestern-European and PstS1, an invasive warmer-temperature adapted lineage. Additionally, two new lineages, PstPr and PstS1-related, were detected that have not been reported previously. The PstPr and PstS1-related lineages produced more telia than the other lineages and had double the number of unique recombination events compared to PstS0 and PstS1. PstPr was concluded to be a sexual recombinant and an exotic incursion, which was closely associated with PstS5, PstS7 (Warrior), and PstS8 (Kranich) lineages, all of which arose by sexual recombination in the center of diversity - the Himalayan region. The total phenotypic variation in the population could not be explained solely by molecular genotypes, and a hypothesis on existence of epigenetic machinery in the Pst genome was tested. Homologs of the DNMTases class (DNMT1) were identified, providing compelling evidence of a role for DNA methylation. As a first report of DNA methylation, an average of ~5%, 5-methyl cytosine (5-hmC) in the Puccinia epigenome indicated the possibility of epigenetic regulation, which merits further investigation.
Primary Author: Brar, Crop Development Centre/Department of Plant Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
The durability of stem rust resistance in wheat varieties is strengthened by the use of polygenic, and broad-spectrum sources of resistance. Adult plant resistance (APR) was observed in the mid-20th century Ecuadorian bread wheat cv. Morocho Blanco (PI 286545) in field tests at Njoro, Kenya, and at St. Paul. Morocho Blanco was susceptible to races TTKSK, RCRSC and TPMKC at the seedling stage. A doubled haploid (DH) mapping population was created from a cross between Morocho Blanco and the susceptible line LMPG-6 to identify loci associated with APR phenotypes. Eighty-eight DH lines were genotyped with approximately 90,000 SNPs using a custom Infinium assay from Illumina. Sixty-seven additional DH lines were used to verify SNPs associated with reduced stem rust levels. Severity and infection type were assessed on adult plants at the stem rust screening facility in Kenya in 2013 and 2014, and in two single race nurseries inoculated with races RCRSC and TPMKC at St. Paul in 2014. Two identified and verified QTL reducing stem rust severity were located on chromosome arms 2BS and 6AS. The QTL on 6AS also reduced infection type at Njoro, but a similar reduction was not observed at St. Paul suggesting a genotype x environment or genotype x race interaction. The QTL on 2BS was associated with reduced stem rust severity at both Njoro and St. Paul. It is a strong candidate for use in breeding for APR to stem rust.
Primary Author: Briggs, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, USA
Plant pathogens elicit host transcriptome changes that facilitate hyphal infection and proliferation throughout host tissues. Host genes targeted by the pathogen to facilitate infection have been identified as susceptibility genes (S-genes). As biotrophic pathogens, rust fungi must infect the host to obtain nutrients while suppressing defense responses and likely target host-derived genes to aid in this process. To further understand the host-pathogen interaction RNA-seq analyses were performed on three compatible host-rust pathogen systems: barley cv. Morex was inoculated with Pgt race TTKSK (Ug99), soybean cv. Williams 82 was inoculated with a field collection of Phakopsora pachyrhizi, and maize cv. B73 was inoculated with an isolate of P. sorghi collected at St. Paul. Differential expression was characterized at 6, 12, 24, and 72 h post inoculation. Homologous and differentially expressed host genes were identified and compared for similarities in patterns of differential expression. In each system, a transmembrane nitrate transporter was identified as significantly upregulated early in the interaction compared to mock inoculated controls. Transporters with this molecular function were previously correlated with altering the host-pathogen interaction by knockdown and knockout mutants that were associated with resistance and heightened expression was associated with enhanced susceptibility. The transporter identified in barley was chosen for analysis to understand its effect on the host-pathogen interaction. Current objectives include site directed mutagenesis utilizing multiplexed CRISPR/Cas9 constructs to induce knockout host alleles.
Primary Author: Briggs, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, USA
Wheat yellow rust is a disease caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp tritici (PST) that is a significant threat to wheat production worldwide. Recently, a novel approach called "Field Pathogenomics" was developed that allows acquisition of genotypic data from field samples of PST-infected wheat. This has enabled us to study the re-emergence of this pathogen in the UK and understand the different races that form the current PST population. However, the dynamics of pathogen transmission and dispersal still remain unknown and understanding this is essential for designing effective surveillance. The objective of this project is to develop a spatially-explicit model for the spread of PST that can contribute to better management of the disease and be used as a warning system for wheat yellow rust infection in the UK. The first aim is to study how PST spreads at the field level and determine whether there are differences between PST races in terms of disease dynamics. To this end, a set of markers have been designed that can be used to genotype field-collected isolates and determine which race they belong to. Field trials were also undertaken across the UK using wheat varieties that are known to be susceptible to the disease, with PST-infected wheat samples collected during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. These samples will be genotyped to study the prevalence of different PST races and determine whether PST genotypes identified early in the season are predictive of dominant genotypes found later in the season. Understanding PST dynamics within a field is key to build an epidemiological model that can predict how this disease behaves. This would improve disease management, targeting of chemical sprays and optimize pathogen surveillance.
Primary Author: Bueno-Sancho, John Innes Centre