Indexed on: 24 Dec '15Published on: 24 Dec '15Published in: Frontiers in plant science
Stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis Pers. f. sp. tritici Eriks. and E. Henn. (Pgt), is one of the most destructive diseases of wheat. Races of the pathogen in the "Ug99 lineage" are of international concern due to their virulence for widely used stem rust resistance genes and their spread throughout Africa. Disease resistant cultivars provide one of the best means for controlling stem rust. To identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) conferring resistance to African stem rust race TTKSK at the seedling stage, we evaluated an association mapping (AM) panel consisting of 230 tetraploid wheat accessions under greenhouse conditions. A high level of phenotypic variation was observed in response to race TTKSK in the AM panel, allowing for genome-wide association mapping of resistance QTL in wild, landrace, and cultivated tetraploid wheats. Thirty-five resistance QTL were identified on all chromosomes, and seventeen are of particular interest as identified by multiple associations. Many of the identified resistance loci were coincident with previously identified rust resistance genes; however, nine on chromosomes 1AL, 2AL, 4AL, 5BL, and 7BS may be novel. To validate AM results, a biparental population of 146 recombinant inbred lines was also considered, which derived from a cross between the resistant cultivar "Cirillo" and susceptible "Neodur." The stem rust resistance of Cirillo was conferred by a single gene on the distal region of chromosome arm 6AL in an interval map coincident with the resistance gene Sr13, and confirmed one of the resistance loci identified by AM. A search for candidate resistance genes was carried out in the regions where QTL were identified, and many of them corresponded to NBS-LRR genes and protein kinases with LRR domains. The results obtained in the present study are of great interest as a high level of genetic variability for resistance to race TTKSK was described in a germplasm panel comprising most of the tetraploid wheat sub-species.