Use of genetic diversity from related wild and domesticated species has made a significant contribution to improving wheat productivity. Synthetic hexaploid wheats (SHWs) exhibit natural genetic variation for resistance and/or tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Stripe rust caused by (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici; Pst), is an important disease of wheat worldwide. To characterise loci conferring resistance to stripe rust in SHWs, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) with a panel of 181 SHWs using the wheat 9 K SNP iSelect array. The SHWs were evaluated for their response to the prevailing races of Pst at the seedling and adult plant stages, the latter in replicated field trials at two sites in Ethiopia in 2011. About 28% of the SHWs exhibited immunity at the seedling stage while 56% and 83% were resistant to Pst at the adult plant stage at Meraro and Arsi Robe, respectively. A total of 27 SNPs in nine genomic regions (1 BS, 2 AS, 2 BL, 3 BL, 3 DL, 5A, 5 BL, 6DS and 7A) were linked with resistance to Pst at the seedling stage, while 38 SNPs on 18 genomic regions were associated with resistance at the adult plant stage. Six genomic regions were commonly detected at both locations using a mixed linear model corrected for population structure, kinship relatedness and adjusted for false discovery rate (FDR). The loci on chromosome regions 1 AS, 3 DL, 6 DS and 7 AL appeared to be novel QTL; our results confirm that resynthesized wheat involving its progenitor species is a rich source of new stripe (yellow) rust resistance that may be useful in choosing SHWs and incorporating diverse yellow rust (YR) resistance loci into locally adapted wheat cultivars.
Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, the causative agent of stem rust in wheat, is a devastating disease of durum wheat. While more than 50 stem rust resistance (Sr) loci have been identified in wheat, only a few of them have remained effective against Ug99 (TTKSK race) and other durum-specific Ethiopian races. An association mapping (AM) approach based on 183 diverse durum wheat accessions was utilized to identify resistance loci for stem rust response in Ethiopia over four field-evaluation seasons and artificial inoculation with Ug99 and a mixture of durum-specific races. The panel was profiled with simple sequence repeat, Diversity Arrays Technology and sequence-tagged site markers (1,253 in total). The resistance turned out to be oligogenic, with twelve QTL-tagging markers that were significant (P < 0.05) across three or four seasons. R (2) values ranged from 1.1 to 11.3 %.Twenty-four additional single-marker/QTL regions were found to be significant over two seasons. The AM results confirmed the role of Sr13, previously described in bi-parental mapping studies, and the role of chromosome regions putatively harbouring Sr9, Sr14, Sr17 and Sr28. Three minor QTLs were coincident with those reported in hexaploid wheat and five overlapped with those recently reported in the Sebatel × Kristal durum mapping population. Thirteen single-marker/QTL regions were located in chromosome regions where no Sr genes/QTLs have been previously reported. The allelic variation identified in this study is readily available and can be exploited for marker-assisted selection, thus providing additional opportunities for a more durable stem rust resistance under field conditions.
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