The recent emergence of wheat stem rust Ug99 and evolution of new races within the lineage threatens global wheat production because they overcome widely deployed stem rust resistance (Sr) genes that had been effective for many years. To identify loci conferring adult plant resistance to races of Ug99 in wheat, we employed an association mapping approach for 276 current spring wheat breeding lines from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Breeding lines were genotyped with Diversity Array Technology (DArT) and microsatellite markers. Phenotypic data was collected on these lines for stem rust race Ug99 resistance at the adult plant stage in the stem rust resistance screening nursery in Njoro, Kenya in seasons 2008, 2009 and 2010. Fifteen marker loci were found to be significantly associated with stem rust resistance. Several markers appeared to be linked to known Sr genes, while other significant markers were located in chromosome regions where no Sr genes have been previously reported. Most of these new loci colocalized with QTLs identified recently in different biparental populations. Using the same data and Q + K covariate matrices, we investigated the interactions among marker loci using linear regression models to calculate P values for pairwise marker interactions. Resistance marker loci including the Sr2 locus on 3BS and the wPt1859 locus on 7DL had significant interaction effects with other loci in the same chromosome arm and with markers on chromosome 6B. Other resistance marker loci had significant pairwise interactions with markers on different chromosomes. Based on these results, we propose that a complex network of gene-gene interactions is, in part, responsible for resistance to Ug99. Further investigation may provide insight for understanding mechanisms that contribute to this resistance gene network.
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New races of wheat stem rust, namely TTKSK (Ug99) and its variants, pose a threat to wheat production in the regions where they are found. The accession of the wheat cultivar Webster (RL6201) maintained at the Cereal Research Centre in Winnipeg, Canada, shows resistance to TTKSK and other races of stem rust. The purpose of this study was to study the inheritance of seedling resistance to stem rust in RL6201 and genetically map the resistance genes using microsatellite (SSR) markers. A population was produced by crossing the stem rust susceptible line RL6071 with Webster. The F(2) and F(3) were tested with TPMK, a stem rust race native to North America. The F(3) was also tested with TTKSK. Two independently assorting genes were identified in RL6201. Resistance to TPMK was conferred by Sr30, which was mapped with microsatellites on chromosome 5DL. The second gene, temporarily designated SrWeb, conferred resistance to TTKSK. SrWeb was mapped to chromosome 2BL using SSR markers. Comparison with previous genetic maps showed that SrWeb occupies a locus near Sr9. Further analysis will be required to determine if SrWeb is a new gene or an allele of a previously identified gene.
Stem rust (caused by Puccinia graminis Pers.:Pers. f. sp. tritici Eriks. & E. Henn.) has re-emerged as a threat to wheat production with the evolution of new pathogen races, namely TTKSK (Ug99) and its variants, in Africa. Deployment of resistant wheat cultivars has provided long-term control of stem rust. Identification of new resistance genes will contribute to future cultivars with broad resistance to stem rust. The related Canadian cultivars Peace and AC Cadillac show resistance to Ug99 at the seedling stage and in the field. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the inheritance and genetically map resistance to Ug99 in these two cultivars. Two populations were produced, an F2:3 population from LMPG/AC Cadillac and a doubled haploid (DH) population from RL6071/Peace. Both populations showed segregation at the seedling stage for a single stem rust resistance (Sr) gene, temporarily named SrCad. SrCad was mapped to chromosome 6DS in both populations with microsatellite markers and a marker (FSD_RSA) that is tightly linked to the common bunt resistance gene Bt10. FSD_RSA was the closest marker to SrCad (~1.6 cM). Evaluation of the RL6071/Peace DH population and a second DH population, AC Karma/87E03-S2B1, in Kenya showed that the combination of SrCad and leaf rust resistance gene Lr34 provided a high level of resistance to Ug99-type races in the field, whereas in the absence of Lr34 SrCad conferred moderate resistance. A survey confirmed that SrCad is the basis for all of the seedling resistance to Ug99 in Canadian wheat cultivars. While further study is needed to determine the relationship between SrCad and other Sr genes on chromosome 6DS, SrCad represents a valuable genetic resource for producing stem rust resistant wheat cultivars.