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The aphid Sitobion avenae F. is one of the most harmful pests of wheat growth in the world. A primary field screening test was carried out to evaluate the S. avenae resistance of 527 wheat landraces from Shaanxi. The results indicated that 25 accessions (4.74%) were resistant to S. avenae in the three consecutive seasons, of which accession S849 was highly resistant, and seven accessions were moderately resistant. The majority of S. avenae resistant accessions come from Qinling Mountains. Then, the genetic variability of a set of 33 accessions (25 S. avenae resistant and 8 S. avenae susceptible) originating from Qinling Mountains have been assessed by 20 morphological traits and 99 simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs). Morphological traits and SSRs displayed a high level of genetic diversity within 33 accessions. The clustering of the accessions based on morphological traits and SSR markers showed significant discrepancy according to the geographical distribution, resistance to S. avenae and species of accessions. The highly and moderately resistant landrace accessions were collected from the middle and the east part of Qinling Mountains with similar morphology characters, for example slender leaves with wax, lower leaf area, and high ear density. These S. avenae resistant landraces can be used in wheat aphid resistance breeding as valuable resources.

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Powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) is a major fungal disease of barley causing economical yield losses worldwide. Breeding for resistance to this disease is crucial due to the rapid change in pathotype patterns of B. graminis in fields. In the present work, powdery mildew-resistant barley germplasm was developed by crossing four cultivars currently used in Europe and West Asia. Out of 265 doubled haploid lines derived from these crosses, 40 lines were evaluated at seedling and adult stages. Data showed significant differences among barley lines with a continuum of resistance levels ranging from highly susceptible to tolerant which were consistent during the two growth stages. Two promising lines were more tolerant to powdery disease than the others. Across lines, there was a high correlation between field and greenhouse reaction (r=0.80, P<0.01), indicating the utility of greenhouse evaluations for screening barley for powdery mildew. This study suggests that, the newly identified resistance lines can serve as potential donors for ongoing powdery mildew resistance breeding program, and both types of seedling and adult plant resistance identified here can offer promising genetic stocks for accumulating both resistances to acquire durable resistance and long lasting control against B. graminis in Mediterranean and similar environments.

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Cochliobolus sativus, the causal agent of common root rot (CRR), is a devastating fungal pathogen of barley that can cause significant yield losses worldwide. The development of resistant cultivars has proven difficult, therefore, in this work, CRR-resistant barley germplasm was developed by crossing three resistant-by-susceptible cultivars currently used in Europe and West Asia. Following greenhouse evaluations of 150 doubled haploid lines derived from these crosses, 40 lines were evaluated under artificial infection conditions using incidence and severity parameters during two consecutive seasons. Data showed significant differences among barley lines with a continuum of resistance levels ranging from highly susceptible to resistant which were consistent in both seasons. However, five promising lines had slightly lower CRR disease than the others. Additionally, significant differences (P <0.05) in mean incidence and severity values were found among lines, with values being consistently higher in the susceptible ones. However, CRR severity increased linearly as incidence increased in both seasons. All together, the present study suggests that, the newly identified resistance lines can serve as potential donors for ongoing CRR resistance breeding program to generate high-yielding commercial barley cultivars, and that the positive correlation between CRR parameters I and S may be beneficial for many types of studies on this disease.

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Thinopyrum ponticum (2n = 10x = 70) has donated rust resistance genes to protect wheat from this fungal disease. In the present study, the line ES-7, derived from the progeny of the crosses between common wheat cultivar Abbondanza and Triticum aestivumTh. ponticum partial amphiploid line Xiaoyan784, was characterized by cytological, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and EST-STS marker techniques. Cytological observations revealed that the configuration of ES-7 was 2n = 42 = 21 II. GISH and FISH results showed that ES-7 had two St chromosomes and lacked 5A chromosomes compared to common wheat. The 4A chromosome of ES-7 had small alterations from common wheat. Two EST-SSR markers BE482522 and BG262826, specific to Th. ponticum and tetraploid Pseudoroegneria spicata (2n = 4x = 28), locate on the homoeologous group 5 chromosomes of wheat, could amplify polymorphic bands in ES-7. It was suggested that the introduced St chromosomes belonged to homoeologous group 5, that is, ES-7 was a 5St (5A) disomic substitution line. Furthermore, ES-7 showed highly resistance to mixed stripe rust races of CYR32 and CYR33 in adult stages, which was possibly inherited from Th. ponticum. Thus, ES-7 can be used for wheat stripe rust resistance breeding program.

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Phenotypic and genotypic evaluation of wheat genetic resources and development of segregating populations are pre-requisites for identifying rust resistance genes. The objectives of this study were to assess adult plant resistance (APR) of selected wheat genotypes to leaf rust and stem rust and to develop segregating populations for resistance breeding. Eight selected Kenyan cultivars with known resistance to stem rust, together with local checks were evaluated for leaf rust and stem rust resistance at seedling stage and also across several environments. Selected diagnostic markers were used to determine the presence of known genes. All eight cultivars were crossed with local checks using a bi-parental mating design. Seedling tests revealed that parents exhibited differential infection types against wheat rust races. Cultivars Paka and Popo consistently showed resistant infection types at seedling stage, while Gem, Romany, Pasa, Fahari, Kudu, Ngiri and Kariega varied for resistant and susceptible infection types depending on the pathogen race used. The control cultivars Morocco and McNair consistently showed susceptible infection types as expected. In the field, all cultivars except for Morocco showed moderate to high levels of resistance, indicating the presence of effective resistance genes. Using diagnostic markers, presence of Lr34 was confirmed in Gem, Fahari, Kudu, Ngiri and Kariega, while Sr2 was present in Gem, Romany, Paka and Kudu. Seedling resistance gene, Sr35, was only detected in cultivar Popo. Overall, the study developed 909 F6:8 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) as part of the nested mating design and are useful genetic resources for further studies and for mapping wheat rust resistance genes.

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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an important disease of wheat causing significant yield and quality losses globally. Breeding for host plant resistance is an economic approach to FHB control and management. The aim of this study was to identify potential sources of resistance from newly developed recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of wheat. A total of 778 RILs were developed through a bi-parental mating design followed by continuous selfing and selection. The RILs along with their eight parental lines (Baviaans, Buffels, Duzi, #910, #936, #937, #942 and #1036) and FHB resistant check cultivar ‘Sumai 3’ and susceptible check ‘SST 806’ were field evaluated across four environments in South Africa. Fusarium graminearum isolates were artificially inoculated to initiate infection and disease development. The percentage of wheat spikes showing FHB symptoms were scored. The research identified six percent of the RILs with disease resistance. Heritability for FHB resistance was the highest (64%) indicating the possibility of achieving higher selection gains for FHB resistance across the selected environments. The following five RILs were identified as potential sources of resistance: 681 (Buffels/1036-71), 134 (Duzi/910-8), 22 (Baviaans/910-22), 717 (Baviaans/937-8) and 133 (Duzi/910-7) with mean FHB scores of 6.8%, 7.8%, 9.5%, 9.8% and 10%, respectively. The selected lines expressed comparatively similar levels of resistance compared with that of Sumai 3. The identified RILs are useful genetic resources for resistance breeding against FHB disease of wheat. Since the presence of the F. graminearum is associated with deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation, the DON levels amongst the selected lines should be determined to ensure the release of improved wheat cultivars with reduced levels of DON accumulation.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: S.M. Pirseyedi, A. Kumar, F. Ghavami, J.B. Hegstad, M. Mergoum, M. Mazaheri, S.F. Kianian, and E.M. Elias

Fusarium head blight (FHB) damage in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum Desf., turgidum) inflicted massive economic losses worldwide. Meanwhile, FHB resistant durum wheat germplasm is extremely limited. ‘Tunisian108’ is a newly identified tetraploid wheat with FHB resistance. However, genomic regions in ‘Tunisian108’ that significantly associated with FHB resistance are yet unclear. Therefore, a population of 171 backcross inbred lines (BC1F7) derived from a cross between ‘Tunisian108’ and a susceptible durum cultivar ‘Ben’ was characterized. Fusarium graminearum (R010, R1267, and R1322) was point inoculated (greenhouse) or spawn inoculated (field) in 2010 and 2011. Disease severity, Fusarium-damaged kernel (FDK) and mycotoxins were measured. Analysis of variance showed significant genotype and genotype by environment effect on all traits. Approximately 8% of the lines in field and 25% of the lines in greenhouse were more resistance than Tunisian108. A framework linkage map of 267 DArt plus 62 SSR markers was developed representing 239 unique loci and covering a total distance of 1887.6 cM. Composite interval mapping revealed nine QTL for FHB severity, four QTL for DON, and four QTL for FDK on seven chromosomes. Two novel QTL, Qfhb.ndsu-3BL and Qfhb.ndsu-2B, were identified for disease severity, explaining 11 and 6% of the phenotypic variation, respectively. Also, a QTL with large effect on severity and a QTL with negative effect on FDK on chromosome 5A were identified. Importantly, a novel region on chromosome 2B was identified with multiple FHB resistance. Validation on these QTL would facilitate the durum wheat resistance breeding.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: B. Kumar, K.S. Hooda, R. Gogoi, V. Kumar, S. Kumar, A. Abhishek, P. Bhati, J.C. Sekhar, K.R. Yathish, V. Singh, A. Das, G. Mukri, E. Varghese, H. Kaur, V. Malik, and O.P. Yadav

Maydis leaf blight (MLB), a serious foliar fungal disease of maize, may cause up to 40% losses in yield. The present studies were undertaken to identify the stable sources of MLB resistance, its inheritance study, and testing of MLB resistance linked markers from diverse background in the Indian adapted tropical maize genotypes. A set of 112 inbred lines were screened under artificially created epiphytotics conditions at three hotspot locations. Analysis across multi-locations revealed significant effects of genotypes and environments, and non-significant effects due to genotypes × environment interaction on disease incidence. A total of 25 inbred lines with stable resistance were identified across multi-locations. Inheritance of resistance was studied in six F1s and two F2s of resistant and susceptible parents. The null hypothesis of segregation of resistance and susceptible for mono and digenic ratios in two F2 populations was rejected by Chi-square test. The non-significant differences among the reciprocal crosses depicted the complete control of nuclear genome for MLB resistance. Partial dominance in F1s and normal distribution pattern in F2s of resistant and susceptible parents suggested polygenic nature of MLB resistance. Correlation studies in F2 populations exhibited significant negative correlation between disease score and days to flowering. Five simple sequence repeats (SSRs) markers, found associated to MLB resistance in different studies were unable to differentiate amongst MLB resistance and susceptible parents in our study. This emphasizes the need of fine mapping for MLB resistance in Indian germplasm. The identified stable sources of resistance and information on inheritance study can be used further in strengthening of resistance breeding against MLB.

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. 2008 . Progress and future prospects of resistance breeding to Fusarium head blight in Japan . Cereal Res. Commun. 36 : 23 – 29 . Brennan , J.M. , Fagan , B. , van Maanen , A

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. , Lemmens , M. 2001 . Present strategies in resistance breeding against scab ( Fusarium spp.) . Euphytica 119 : 121 – 127 . Schaafsma , A.W. , Tamburic-Illincic , L

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