Recent stem rust epidemics in eastern Africa and elsewhere demonstrated that wheat stem rust is a re-emerging disease posing a threat to wheat production worldwide. The cultivated wheat gene pool has a narrow genetic base for resistance to virulent races, such as races in the Ug99 race group. Wild relatives of wheat are a tractable source of stem rust resistance genes. Aegilops species in the tertiary genepool have not been exploited to any great extent as a source of stem rust resistance. We evaluated 1,422 accessions of Aegilops spp. for resistance to three highly virulent races (TTKSK, TRTTF, and TTTTF) of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici. Species studied include Ae. biuncialis, Ae. caudata, Ae. comosa, Ae. cylindrica, Ae. geniculata, Ae. neglecta, Ae. peregrina, Ae. triuncialis, and Ae. umbellulata that do not share common genomes with cultivated wheat. High frequencies of resistance were observed as 977 (68.8%), 927 (65.2%), and 850 (59.8%) accessions exhibited low infection types to races TTKSK, TTTTF, and TRTTF, respectively. Contingency table analyses showed strong association for resistance to different races in several Aegilops spp., indicating that for a given species, the resistance genes effective against multiple races. Inheritance studies in selected accessions showed that resistance to race TTKSK is simply inherited.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank H. Bockleman, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, National Small Grains Collection, Aberdeen, ID, for providing Aegilops spp. seeds. Funding. This research was funded by USDA-ARS and the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat (OPP1144199) project administrated by Cornell University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development.
© 2018 Olivera, Rouse and Jin.
- Disease resistance
- Genetic resources
- Tertiary genepool
- Wild wheats