Key message: Wheat lines carrying Ug99-effective stem rust resistance gene Sr43 on shortened alien chromosome segments were produced using chromosome engineering, and molecular markers linked to Sr43 were identified for marker-assisted selection. Stem rust resistance gene Sr43, transferred into common wheat (Triticum aestivum) from Thinopyrum ponticum, is an effective gene against stem rust Ug99 races. However, this gene has not been used in wheat breeding because it is located on a large Th. ponticum 7el2 chromosome segment, which also harbors genes for undesirable traits. The objective of this study was to eliminate excessive Th. ponticum chromatin surrounding Sr43 to make it usable in wheat breeding. The two original translocation lines KS10-2 and KS24-1 carrying Sr43 were first analyzed using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and florescent genomic in situ hybridization. Six SSR markers located on wheat chromosome arm 7DL were identified to be associated with the Th. ponticum chromatin in KS10-2 and KS24-1. The results confirmed that KS24-1 is a 7DS·7el2L Robertsonian translocation as previously reported. However, KS10-2, which was previously designated as a 7el2S·7el2L-7DL translocation, was identified as a 7DS-7el2S·7el2L translocation. To reduce the Th. ponticum chromatin carrying Sr43, a BC2F1 population (Chinese Spring//Chinese Spring ph1bph1b*2/KS10-2) containing ph1b-induced homoeologous recombinants was developed, tested with stem rust, and genotyped with the six SSR markers identified above. Two new wheat lines (RWG33 and RWG34) carrying Sr43 on shortened alien chromosome segments (about 17.5 and 13.7 % of the translocation chromosomes, respectively) were obtained, and two molecular markers linked to Sr43 in these lines were identified. The new wheat lines with Sr43 and the closely linked markers provide new resources for improving resistance to Ug99 and other races of stem rust in wheat.
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We thank Dr. G. Francois Marais and Dr. Lili Qi for critically reviewing the manuscript. The authors also thank Mary Osenga, Rachel McArthur, Danielle Holmes, and Xiaohong Jiang for technical support. This research was supported in part by funds to S. S. X. provided through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Cornell University for the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat (DRRW) Project and the USDA-ARS CRIS Project No. 5442-22000-037-00D. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.