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Stem rust is a potentially destructive fungal disease of wheat worldwide. In 1998 Pgt pathotype TTKSK virulent to Sr31 was detected in Uganda. The same pathotype was confirmed in Lorestan and Hamedan provinces of Iran in 2007. We used a derivative of race TTKSK to phenotype 62 Iranian wheat landraces (resistant to stripe rust in a previous study) at the seedling stage to this new pathotype (TTSSK). Twenty eight accessions were evaluated for the presence of resistance genes Sr2, Sr22, Sr24, Sr25, Sr26, Sr35, Sr36 and Srweb using SSR markers. None carried Sr2, Sr24 or Sr26, but the presence of Sr22, Sr25, Sr35 and Sr36 was indicated. Some susceptible landraces predicted to carry Sr2 by marker analysis require further investigation. To evaluate defense gene expression in compatible and incompatible stem rust interactions we sampled resistant and susceptible cultivars at 0, 12, 18, 24, 72 hours post-inoculation (hpi). ?-1,3 glucanase expression was studied using qGLU-S and qGLUU-AS primers and a real-time PCR step-one ABI machine, with ?-tubulin and EF1-? genes used as internal controls. In incompatible interactions defense gene expression was increased at 24 hpi, but in compatible interactions the highest level of expression occurred at 12 hpi and was significantly decreased at 18 hpi. The results revealed that expression of defense genes such as ?-1,3 glucanase was earlier in compatible than in incompatible interactions but the expression level was less in incompatible interactions. On the other hand, in susceptible genotypes the expression of defense genes increased immediately after inoculation and declined sharply after infection. In contrast defense gene expression in resistant genotypes began to increase after establishment of the pathogen.
Stem rust (SR) resistance is required for CIMMYT durum germplasm to keep relevance in Ethiopia, where Ug99 and other Pgt races are a major yield-limiting constraint, and in countries along the possible dissemination paths of these races. Resistance to Ug99 is widespread in most durum germplasm groups when tested in Kenya, but resistance is lost when exposed to Ethiopian races; hence selection at the Debre Zeit site in Ethiopia is essential for durum wheat. Due to difficulties with shuttling segregating populations between Mexico and Ethiopia, we have adopted a strategy involving the identification of resistant/moderately resistant lines at Debre- Zeit, and inter-crossing in Mexico followed by selection for resistance to leaf rust and agronomic type and finally screening for SR reaction in the resulting F6 lines at Debre-Zeit at the same time as they are tested for yield and quality in preliminary yield trials in Mexico. This has generated a significant increase in the proportion of resistant and moderately resistant genotypes within outgoing CIMMYT germplasm, from less than 3% at the onset of the initiative in 2008 to 16% in 2011, and 38% in 2013. SR-resistant germplasm was characterized by similar frequency distributions to other traits in the overall germplasm such as yield potential, drought tolerance and industrial quality parameters. Advances have also been realized using marker-assisted selection (MAS) to introgress Sr22 from bread wheat and to combine it with Sr25, producing advanced lines with 2-gene stacks with confirmed outstanding resistance and superior quality attributes. Since the two genes are closely linked but from different sources bringing them together required a very rare recombination event finally detected via MAS among thousands of plants. They are now essentially inherited together with a very low likelihood of generating recombinant individuals with either gene. The yield potential and stability of these lines are under evaluation in Ethiopia and the best lines are being used in a second round of breeding.
Stem rust resistance gene Sr22 transferred to common wheat from Triticum boeoticum and T. monococcum remains effective against commercially prevalent pathotypes of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, including Ug99 and its derivatives. Sr22 was previously located on the long arm of chromosome 7A. Several backcross derivatives (hexaploid) possessing variable sized Sr22-carrying segments were used in this study to identify a closely linked DNA marker. Expressed sequenced tags belonging to the deletion bin 7AL-0.74-0.86, corresponding to the genomic location of Sr22 were screened for polymorphism. In addition, RFLP markers that mapped to this region were targeted. Initial screening was performed on the resistant and susceptible DNA bulks obtained from backcross derivatives carrying Sr22 in three genetic backgrounds with short T. boeoticum segments. A cloned wheat genomic fragment, csIH81, that detected RFLPs between the resistant and susceptible bulks, was converted into a sequence tagged site (STS) marker, named cssu22. Validation was performed on Sr22 carrying backcross-derivatives in fourteen genetic backgrounds and other genotypes used for marker development. Marker cssu22 distinguished all backcross-derivatives from their respective recurrent parents and co-segregated with Sr22 in a Schomburgk (+Sr22)/Yarralinka (-Sr22)-derived recombinant inbred line (RIL) population. Sr22 was also validated in a second population, Sr22TB/Lakin-derived F(4) selected families, containing shortened introgressed segments that showed recombination with previously reported flanking microsatellite markers.