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Youzimai is a widespread wheat landrace and has been used extensively in breeding programs in China. In order to assess the genetic variation between and within Youzimai accessions, samples of 31 landrace accessions of wheat, all called ‘Youzimai’, were collected from 6 geographic regions in China and evaluated using morphological traits, seedling resistance to powdery mildew, gliadin and microsatellite markers. Typical differences among accessions were observed in morphological characteristics. Forty-five (58.4%) of 77 assayed SSR markers showed polymorphism over the entire collection and total 226 alleles were identified with an average of 5.02 alleles per locus. SSR data indicated that the accessions from Hebei province were the most diverse, as evidenced by greatest number of region-specific alleles and highest diversity index. These accessions, therefore, probably experienced the most substantial morphological and molecular evolution as a result of various natural and anthropomorphic influences. On the other hand, differentiation in gliadin phenotypes was found among seeds within 80.6% of total accessions and average 61.5% of entire collections showed heterogeneous and comprised resistant plants in reaction to powdery mildew, suggesting the presence of a wide diversity within the wheat landrace. By developing an intimate knowledge of the available wheat genotypes, appropriate selections can be made for commercial application in order to conserve and exploit the diversity of the wheat landraces.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: D. Huang, H. Zhang, M. Tar, Y. Zhang, F. Ni, J. Ren, D. Fu, L. Purnhauser, and J. Wu

Stripe or yellow rust (Yr), caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend. (Pst), is one of the most important wheat diseases worldwide. New aggressive Pst races can spread quickly, even between countries and continents. To identify and exploit stripe rust resistance genes, breeders must characterize first the Pst resistance and genotypes of their cultivars. To find new sources of resistances it is important to study how wheat varieties respond to Pst races that predominate in other continents. In this study we evaluated stripe rust resistance in 53 Hungarian winter wheat cultivars in China. Twenty-four cultivars (45.3%) had all stage resistance (ASR) and 1 (1.9%) had adult-plant resistance (APR), based on seedling tests in growth chambers and adult-plant tests in fields. We molecularly genotyped six Yr resistance genes: Yr5, Yr10, Yr15, Yr17, Yr18, and Yr36. Yr18, an APR gene, was present alone in five cultivars, and in ‘GK Kapos’, that also had seedling resistance. The other five Yr genes were absent in all cultivars tested.

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Rice sheath blight, caused by Rhizoctonia solani, is the most serious disease in the southern rice producing regions of China. The use of resistant varieties is the most economic strategy to control the disease. In this paper, a seedling inoculation method was used to evaluate rice germplasm resources for resistance to sheath blight. A total of 363 rice varieties were evaluated with a set of R. solani isolates. The results indicated that the rice varieties generally lacked resistance to R. solani, and no highly resistant/immune (HR) variety was found. However, two varieties displayed clear resistance (R) and 37 showed moderate resistance (MR) to the fungus. Overall, hybrid rice varieties have better resistance than conventional rice varieties, and among hybrid rice varieties, those with the II-32A sterile line genetic background were the most resistant. The results also indicated significant interactions between rice varieties and pathogen isolates, suggesting that an understanding of local R. solani populations is needed when recommending varieties to local growers.

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Septoria tritici blotch (STB) caused by Mycosphaerella graminicola, is one of the most destructive foliar diseases of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) especially in temperate and humid regions across the world. The susceptibility of recently released varieties, evolution of resistance to fungicides and increasing incidence of STB disease emphasizes the need to understand the genetics of resistance to this disease and to incorporate host resistance into adapted cultivars. This study aimed to decipher the genetics and map the resistance to STB using a recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping population derived from ‘Steele-ND’ (susceptible parent) and ‘ND 735’ (resistant parent). The RILs were evaluated in three greenhouse experiments, using a North Dakota (ND) isolate of STB pathogen. The mean disease severity of parental genotypes, ‘ND 735’ (11.96%) and ‘Steele-ND’ (66.67%) showed significant differences (p < 0.05). The population segregated for STB and the frequency distribution of RILs indicated quantitative inheritance for resistance. The mean disease severity in RILs ranged from 0 to 71.55% with a mean of 21.98%. The genome map of this population was developed using diversity array technology (DArT) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The framework linkage map of this population was developed using 469 molecular markers. This map spanned a total distance of 1,789.3 cM and consisted of 17 linkage groups. QTL mapping using phenotypic data and the framework linkage maps detected three QTL through composite interval mapping. One QTL was consistently detected in all experiments on the long arm of chromosome 5B, and explained up to 10.2% phenotypic variation. The other two QTLs, detected in single environments, were mapped to 1D and 7A and explain 13% and 5.5% of the phenotypic variation, respectively. The map position of the consistent QTL on 5BL coincides with the map position of durable resistance gene Stb1 suggesting the importance of this region of ‘ND 735’ as a source of durable STB resistance for the wheat germplasm.

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Regular disease monitoring is currently carried out in the most important Italian wheat growing areas. In 2007–08 stem rust was absent in all locations tested except Montelibretti (Rome, Central Italy), where two common wheat varieties “Arsenal” and “Compair” had stem rust infections. Two stem rust pathotypes were identified by testing in the greenhouse a set of differential lines/varieties carrying known genes for resistance to Puccinia graminis. These pathotypes corresponded to races MSK and PTK on the basis of the North American classification system. Genes Sr24 and Sr25 (both derived from Thinopyrum ponticum) and Sr31 (from Secale cereale), were resistant to the Italian pathotypes, and the lines carrying Sr38 (from Triticum ventricosum) were susceptible.Tests were carried out to determine the seedling stem rust response of durum and common wheat cultivars grown in Italy. Many durum wheat genotypes were resistant to MSK and PTK, while several common wheats were susceptible. The different response of the two species could be due to the source (common wheat) of stem rust inoculum. Molecular PCR markers, linked to Sr24, Sr25, Sr31 and Sr38, were used to detect their presence/absence in the genetic background of the durum and common wheat cultivars. The presence of Sr31 was shown in only two common wheat cultivars (“Colledoro” and “Sollario”), while several genotypes carried Sr38. No common wheat genotype was positive (to PCR analysis) for the presence of Sr24 or Sr25 genes, whereas no durum wheat was positive for the presence of Sr24, Sr25, Sr31 or Sr38.

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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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The objectives of this research were to examine the inheritance of leaf rust resistance genes in the Iranian wheat cultivar ‘Marvdasht’, which is highly resistant to leaf and stripe rusts, and to identify Lr genes present in this cultivar using molecular markers. The genetic basis of resistance to the leaf rust pathogen (Puccinia triticina) in ‘Marvdasht’ was studied in F2:3 populations derived from crosses of Bolani (susceptible cultivar) × Marvdasht. Isolates 84-1 and 85-28 of P. triticina, which are the predominant isolates in Iran, were used to examine the segregation of resistance originating from ‘Marvdasht’. The results indicated that resistance in ‘Marvdasht’ to Puccinia triticina isolate 84-1 was governed by two dominant seedling resistance genes Lr1 and Lr17a. Allelism studies using an F2 population derived from a cross between ‘Falat’ (Seri 82) and Marvdasht indicated that resistance in Marvdasht was not due to the resistance gene Lr26 present in ‘Falat’. With the application of a previously developed molecular marker for Lr1, the STS marker RGA-567-5, the presence of Lr1 was verified in Marvdasht. Based on bulk segregant analysis, Lr17a was mapped to the distal end of chromosome 2AS and was closely linked to microsatellite marker Xbarc212 at a distance of 3.7 cM. In conclusion, the presence of Lr1 and Lr17a was confirmed in the cultivar Marvdasht.

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Nearly twenty thousand wheat lines were phenotyped for the presence of leaf tip necrosis (LTN), a phenotypic trait linked to adult plant leaf rust resistance (APR) genes, viz. Lr34, Lr46 and Lr67 having pleiotropic association with multiple disease resistance genes. Thirty-six lines showed varied expression of LTN and moderate level of leaf rust severity at adult plant stage with slow rusting (disease progress at a retarded rate). Seedling resistance test (SRT) revealed susceptible and mixed infection types, a characteristic of adult plant resistance (APR) genes. Further molecular confirmation for the presence of these genes using available microsatellite markers revealed that of the 36 lines, five lines carried Lr46+ alone and five other lines carried Lr67+ alone. Seven lines carried the combination of Lr34+ and Lr67+ while six lines confirmed to carry the combination of Lr46+ and Lr67+. Remarkably three lines carried all the three APR genes, viz. Lr34+, Lr46+ and Lr67+. All these stocks can be a source of APR multiple disease resistance genes. Ten lines were not confirmed to carry any of the genes but still had LTN and SRT results showing an infection type typical of APR genes and these can be the source of identifying newer APR genes. The resistance based on minor APR genes when combined with a few additional minor genes in the background of high yielding cultivars is expected to have high level of race non-specific resistance and to be durable.

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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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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Á. Mesterházy, B. Tóth, Á. Szabó-Hevér, J. Varga, and S. Lehoczki-Krsjak

Mesterházy, Á. 1985. Effect of seed production area on the seedling resistance of wheat to Fusarium seedling blight. Agronomie 5 :491–497. Mesterházy Effect of seed production

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