Genome-wide association study of common resistance to rust species in tetraploid wheat

Daniela Marone, Giovanni Laidò, Antonietta Saccomanno, Giuseppe Petruzzino, Cleber V. Giaretta Azevedo, Pasquale De Vita, Anna Maria Mastrangelo, Agata Gadaleta, Karim Ammar, Filippo M. Bassi, Meinan Wang, Xianming Chen, Diego Rubiales, Oadi Matny, Brian J. Steffenson, Nicola Pecchioni

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Rusts of the genus Puccinia are wheat pathogens. Stem (black; Sr), leaf (brown; Lr), and stripe (yellow; Yr) rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), Puccinia triticina (Pt), and Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), can occur singularly or in mixed infections and pose a threat to wheat production globally in terms of the wide dispersal of their urediniospores. The development of durable resistant cultivars is the most sustainable method for controlling them. Many resistance genes have been identified, characterized, genetically mapped, and cloned; several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for resistance have also been described. However, few studies have considered resistance to all three rust pathogens in a given germplasm. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was carried out to identify loci associated with resistance to the three rusts in a collection of 230 inbred lines of tetraploid wheat (128 of which were Triticum turgidum ssp. durum) genotyped with SNPs. The wheat panel was phenotyped in the field and subjected to growth chamber experiments across different countries (USA, Mexico, Morocco, Italy, and Spain); then, a mixed linear model (MLM) GWAS was performed. In total, 9, 34, and 5 QTLs were identified in the A and B genomes for resistance to Pgt, Pt, and Pst, respectively, at both the seedling and adult plant stages. Only one QTL on chromosome 4A was found to be effective against all three rusts at the seedling stage. Six QTLs conferring resistance to two rust species at the adult plant stage were mapped: three on chromosome 1B and one each on 5B, 7A, and 7B. Fifteen QTLs conferring seedling resistance to two rusts were mapped: five on chromosome 2B, three on 7B, two each on 5B and 6A, and one each on 1B, 2A, and 7A. Most of the QTLs identified were specific for a single rust species or race of a species. Candidate genes were identified within the confidence intervals of a QTL conferring resistance against at least two rust species by using the annotations of the durum (cv. ‘Svevo’) and wild emmer wheat (‘Zavitan’) reference genomes. The 22 identified loci conferring resistance to two or three rust species may be useful for breeding new and potentially durable resistant wheat cultivars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1290643
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 Marone, Laidò, Saccomanno, Petruzzino, Giaretta Azevedo, De Vita, Mastrangelo, Gadaleta, Ammar, Bassi, Wang, Chen, Rubiales, Matny, Steffenson and Pecchioni.


  • Pucciniaspp
  • QTL
  • multi-location trials
  • tetraploid wheat
  • wheat rusts

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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