Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, has been an important disease of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) in the eastern United States since 2000, when a new strain of the pathogen emerged. The new strain overcame the widely used resistance gene, Yr9, and was more aggressive and better adapted to warmer temperatures than the old strain. Host resistance is the most effective approach to manage stripe rust. Winter wheat lines with resistance to the new strain in the field are common, but the genes conferring this resistance are mostly unknown. The objectives of this research were to characterize the all-stage resistance and adult-plant resistance (APR) to stripe rust in a representative group of contemporary winter wheat cultivars and breeding lines and to identify the resistance genes when possible. Of the 50 lines evaluated for all-stage resistance at the seedling stage, nearly all were susceptible to the new strain. Based on a linked molecular marker, seven lines had resistance gene Yr17 that confers resistance to both old and new strains; however, this resistance was difficult to identify in the seedling stage. Of the 19 lines evaluated for APR, all expressed APR compared with a very susceptible check. Nine had race-specific APR to the new strain and nine had APR to both old and new strains. The remaining line, 26R61, had all-stage resistance to the old strain (conferred by resistance gene Yr9) and a high level of APR to the new strain. APR was expressed as low infection type, low percent leaf area diseased, and long latent period at heading stage under both low and high temperature regimes and could be identified as early as jointing stage. Based on tests for linked molecular markers, the most widely used slow-rusting APR genes, Yr18 and Yr29, were not present in any of the lines. The results of this research indicate that effective all-stage resistance was conferred only by Yr17 and that APR was common and likely conferred by unknown race-specific genes rather than genes conferring slow rusting that are more likely to be durable.
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