Seedling and adult-plant resistance have been used to manage leaf rust, caused by Puccinia triticina, but there is little information on resistance genes in contemporary cultivars and advanced breeding lines of soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum). Lack of information on the genetic basis for resistance leads to uncertainty about durability of resistance and makes pyramiding resistance genes more difficult. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic basis for race-specific seedling resistance to leaf rust among the 116 contemporary lines from the 1998-99 Arkansas Wheat Cultivar Performance Test and the Uniform Eastern and Southern Soft Red Winter Wheat Nurseries. To postulate the presence of genes for leaf rust resistance (Lr genes), seedlings of each line and 24 isolines in a Thatcher background were evaluated for infection type in growth chambers at 22/18°C (day/night) or constant 17 or 18°C using 22 races of P. triticina. A computer program was used to analyze infection type data and facilitate identification of Lr genes. Genes Lr1, 2a, 2c, 3, 3ka, 9, 10, 11, 14a, 18, 20, 23, 24, and 26 were identified among the lines tested. Genes Lr3, 10, and 11 were the most common. Genes Lr15, 28, and 30 were postulated as possibly present in some lines but were not likely to be important among the lines. Genes Lr16, 17, 21, 32, 36, 38, and 39 were not detected. Fifty-four lines had one or more unidentified Lr genes that were not included in the set of 24 isolines. Only four lines (Agripro Marion, APD94-5282, NC94-7197, and VA97W-375) were resistant to all races used in this study, and these were postulated to have the combination of Lr9, 24, and 26.