Quantitative trait loci conferring leaf rust resistance in hexaploid wheat


Da Silva, G.B.P., Zanella, C.M., Martinelli, J.A., Chaves, M.S., Hiebert, C.W., McCallum, B.D., Boyd, L.A. (2018). Quantitative trait loci conferring leaf rust resistance in hexaploid wheat. Phytopathology, [online] 108(12), 1344-1354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-06-18-0208-RVW

Plain language summary

Wheat leaf rust is the most broadly fungal disease of wheat in the world and is responsible for significant yield losses annually. Developing wheat cultivas with genetic resistance to leaf rust is a desirable approach to controlling the disease. Increased attention has been payed to quantitative resistance wheat in place of so-called major genes which are often effective to a subset of strains of the leaf rust fungus. Many studies of quantitative resistance have been undertaken but the information is dispersed throughout the scientific literature. This review amalgamated the reported sources of quantitative resistance and summarized the associated DNA markers to facilitate marker-assisted wheat improvement.


Leaf rust, caused by the fungal pathogen Puccinia triticina, is a major threat to wheat production in many wheat-growing regions of the world. The introduction of leaf rust resistance genes into elite wheat germplasm is the preferred method of disease control, being environmentally friendly and crucial to sustained wheat production. Consequently, there is considerable value in identifying and characterizing new sources of leaf rust resistance. While many major, qualitative leaf rust resistance genes have been identified in wheat, a growing number of valuable sources of quantitative resistance have been reported. Here we review the progress made in the genetic identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for leaf rust resistance detected primarily in field analyses, i.e., adult plant resistance. Over the past 50 years, leaf rust resistance loci have been assigned to genomic locations through chromosome analyses and genetic mapping in biparental mapping populations, studies that represent 79 different wheat leaf rust resistance donor lines. In addition, seven association mapping studies have identified adult plant and seedling leaf rust resistance marker trait associations in over 4,000 wheat genotypes. Adult plant leaf rust resistance QTL have been found on all 21 chromosomes of hexaploid wheat, with the B genome carrying the greatest number of QTL. The group 2 chromosomes are also particularly rich in leaf rust resistance QTL. The A genome has the lowest number of QTL for leaf rust resistance.

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