Molecular mapping and improvement of leaf rust resistance in wheat breeding lines

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Leaf rust, caused by Puccinia triticina, is the most common and widespread disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum) worldwide. Deployment of host-plant resistance is one of the strategies to reduce losses due to leaf rust disease. The objective of this study was to map genes for adult-plant resistance to leaf rust in a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population originating from MN98550-5/MN99394-1. The mapping population of 139 RILs and five checks were evaluated in 2005, 2009, and 2010 in five environments. Natural infection occurred in the 2005 trials and trials in 2009 and 2010 were inoculated with leaf rust. Four quantitative trait loci (QTL) on chromosomes 2BS, 2DS, 7AL, and 7DS were detected. The QTL on 2BS explained up to 33.6% of the phenotypic variation in leaf rust response, whereas the QTL on 2DS, 7AL, and 7DS explained up to 15.7, 8.1, and 34.2%, respectively. Seedling infection type tests conducted with P. triticina races BBBD and SBDG confirmed that the QTL on 2BS and 2DS were Lr16 and Lr2a, respectively, and these genes were expressed in the seedling and field plot tests. The Lr2a gene mapped at the same location as Sr6. The QTL on 7DS was Lr34. The QTL on 7AL is a new QTL for leaf rust resistance. The joint effects of all four QTL explained 74% of the total phenotypic variation in leaf rust severity. Analysis of different combinations of QTL showed that the RILs containing all four or three of the QTL had the lowest average leaf rust severity in all five environments. Deployment of these QTL in combination or with other effective genes will lead to successful control of leaf rust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-870
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


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