Stagonospora nodorum is a necrotrophic fungal pathogen that causes Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB), a yield- and quality-reducing disease of wheat. S. nodorum produces a set of necrotrophic effectors (NEs) that interact with the products of host sensitivity genes to cause cell death and increased susceptibility to disease. The focus of this study was determination of NE sensitivity among 25 winter wheat cultivars, many of them from the southeastern United States, that are susceptible to SNB, as well as the moderately resistant ‘NC-Neuse’. Thirty-three isolates of S. nodorum previously collected from seven southeastern U.S. states were cultured for NE production, and the culture filtrates were used in an infiltration bioassay. Control strains of Pichia pastoris that expressed SnToxA, SnTox1, or SnTox3 were also used. All SNB-susceptible cultivars were sensitive to at least one NE, while NC-Neuse was insensitive to all NEs tested. Among the sensitive lines, 32% contained sensitivity gene Tsn1 and 64% contained sensitivity gene Snn3. None were sensitive to SnTox1. Additionally, 10 molecular markers for sensitivity genes Tsn1, Snn1, Snn2, and Snn3 were evaluated for diagnostic potential. Only the marker Xfcp623 for Tsn1 was diagnostic, and it was in perfect agreement with the results of the infiltration bioassays. The results illuminate which NE sensitivity genes may be of concern in breeding for resistance to SNB in the southeastern United States.
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