Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most important food crops, comprising the largest source of daily calorie and protein intake of human beings worldwide. Among the several diseases of wheat, Yellow Rust (YR; caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend. f. sp. tritici) and Leaf Rust (LR; caused by Puccinia triticina Erikss. & Henn.) have always been major production constraints since the domestication of wheat. For the last few decades, scientists have invested large efforts to identify, characterize and utilize Adult Plant Resistance (APR), a.k.a. slow rusting resistance, in wheat germplasm to promote durability of resistance against rust. The objectives of this study were to 1) understand the genetics of APR to YR and/or LR present in two potential wheat lines 'Quaiu 3' and 'TAM 111', and 2) map the putative Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) associated with YR and LR resistance using DNA-based molecular markers. Two Recombinant Inbred Line (RIL) populations were subjected to YR and LR disease evaluation experiments in multiple years and locations. Visual evaluation of Disease severity (DS) and Infection Type (IT) score in both RIL populations showed that APR to YR and LR were highly heritable quantitative traits with significant correlation among experiments. In spring wheat population, composite interval mapping consistently detected four and three large effect QTL for YR and LR resistance, respectively. Among those QTLs, 1B, 3B and 1D QTL were found to be associated with previously characterized genes Lr46/Yr29, Sr2/Yr30 and Lr42, respectively. However, QTLs QYr.tam-3D and QYr.tam-2D were potentially novel. The largest YR QTL QYr.tam-2D was located on long arm of chromosome 2D explaining about 48 to 61% of the total phenotypic variation. Similarly, in winter wheat population, apart from three environment-specific QTL on chromosomes 1A, 2A and 7D, the QTL on chromosome 2B (QYr.tam-2B) was found to express consistently in multiple environments explaining about 23 to 63% of total phenotypic variation. This study has further elucidated the inheritance mechanism of APR to YR and LR present in two different wheat lines, Quaiu 3 and TAM 111, and resulted in the successful mapping and characterization of the genetic loci associated with corresponding disease resistance traits. These findings should be very useful to isolate the novel APR genes and/or directly use in wheat breeding programs to enhance durable rust resistance in diverse wheat germplasm and cultivars in the future.
- Ibrahim, Amir Professor