Wheat genetic loci conferring resistance to stripe rust in the face of genetically diverse races of the fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici.
Analysis of a wheat multi-founder population identified 14 yellow rust resistance QTL. For three of the four most significant QTL, haplotype analysis indicated resistance alleles were rare in European wheat. Stripe rust, or yellow rust (YR), is a major fungal disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum) caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend f. sp. tritici (Pst). Since 2011, the historically clonal European Pst races have been superseded by the rapid incursion of genetically diverse lineages, reducing the resistance of varieties previously showing durable resistance. Identification of sources of genetic resistance to such races is a high priority for wheat breeding. Here we use a wheat eight-founder multi-parent population genotyped with a 90,000 feature single nucleotide polymorphism array to genetically map YR resistance to such new Pst races. Genetic analysis of five field trials at three UK sites identified 14 quantitative trait loci (QTL) conferring resistance. Of these, four highly significant loci were consistently identified across all test environments, located on chromosomes 1A (QYr.niab-1A.1), 2A (QYr.niab-2A.1), 2B (QYr.niab-2B.1) and 2D (QYr.niab-2D.1), together explaining ~ 50% of the phenotypic variation. Analysis of these four QTL in two-way and three-way combinations showed combinations conferred greater resistance than single QTL, and genetic markers were developed that distinguished resistant and susceptible alleles. Haplotype analysis in a collection of wheat varieties found that the haplotypes associated with YR resistance at three of these four major loci were rare (≤ 7%) in European wheat, highlighting their potential utility for future targeted improvement of disease resistance. Notably, the physical interval for QTL QYr.niab-2B.1 contained five nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat candidate genes with integrated BED domains, of which two corresponded to the cloned resistance genes Yr7 and Yr5/YrSp.
Funder: Roger Harrison Trust