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Heritability of Latent Period Estimated from Wild-Type and Selected Populations of Puccinia triticina

August 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  8
Pages  1,022 - 1,029

Jeffrey S. Lehman and Gregory Shaner

First author: Otterbein College, Department of Life and Earth Sciences, 155 West Main Street, Westerville, OH 43081; and second author: Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1155.

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Accepted for publication 28 February 2007.

Durability of partially resistant wheat cultivars to wheat leaf rust depends on the amount of genetic variation in parasitic fitness within populations of the pathogen Puccinia triticina. To assess the durability of partial resistance, selection experiments were used to explore quantitative variation in parasitic fitness of P. triticina. Fungal populations 881-WT and 882-WT were selected for shortened latent period on partially resistant cvs. CI 13277 and Sw 72469-6 for multiple generations. Fitness components were measured for wild-type and selected fungal populations. Responses to selection and selection differentials were calculated, and broad-sense, realized heritabilities for latent period were estimated for wild-type fungal populations on CI 13227 and on Sw 72469-6. Selected populations had fitness characteristics, not limited to latent period, that could provide greater fitness in nature. Generally, more cycles of selection had greater effects on fitness. In particular cases, selected populations on a partially resistant cultivar had values for latent period, uredinium area, and sporulation no different from those of a susceptible host--pathogen combination. Heritabilities of latent period of populations 881-WT and 882-WT on CI 13227 or populations 881-WT and 882-WT on Sw 72469-6 ranged from 0.65 to 0.76 and 0.17 to 0.24, respectively. Our results suggest the variation to overcome quantitative host resistance exists in extant populations of P. triticina. In addition, because more of the variation in latent period for populations of P. triticina on CI 13227 was genetic than for populations on Sw 72469-6, CI 13227 is likely to be more vulnerable to pathogen adaptation despite its exceptionally long latent period.

Additional keywords: Triticum aestivum .

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society