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  • 1 Cereal Research Non-Profit Ltd. Company P.O. Box 391 H-6701 Szeged Hungary
  • | 2 Agricultural Research Institute H-2462 Martonvásár Hungary
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In Hungary, stem rust epidemics caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici are rare, but due to the severity of infection the stem rust fungus can pose a great hazard to wheat production. As new virulent races can appear, it is important for breeders to know of the genetic background of the stem rust resistance in their cultivars. In this study, 220 winter wheat cultivars registered in Hungary in the past 35 years were investigated using molecular markers to determine the presence or absence and frequency of the two important stem rust resistance genes Sr31 and Sr36. The results indicated that both Sr31 and Sr36 genes are widespread in wheat cultivars registered in Hungary. Sr31 was detected in 24.1% of these wheats, and Sr36 in 15.9%. These genes occurred to a somewhat larger extent in the 156 local cultivars: one-third (32.1%) had the Sr31 and 18.0% the Sr36 gene. Of these, 2 cultivars (1.3%) had both genes (Sr31+ Sr36). Among the 64 foreign cultivars only 3 (4.7%) carried the Sr31 gene. In the foreign group, Sr36 was only detected in the seven Croatian cultivars. Tests also revealed possible false pedigrees for some cultivars. Inoculation tests showed that both genes were still effective. One-sixth (16.7%) of stem rust resistant cultivars did not carry the target genes indicating the possible presence of other efficient Sr genes. Data may help breeders to incorporate effective Sr genes into new cultivars.

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