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Genes for Adult-Plant Resistance to Leaf Rust in Soft Red Winter Wheat

October 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  10
Pages  1,107 - 1,114

Yeshi A. Wamishe and Eugene A. Milus , Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701

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Accepted for publication 26 May 2004.

Host plant resistance in wheat (Triticum aestivum) has been the principal means of managing leaf rust caused by Puccinia triticina. The need for durable resistance has changed the focus from the use of seedling resistance to adult-plant resistance. The objectives of this study were to determine the genetic basis for adult-plant resistance and to determine the most effective method to identify adult-plant resistance genes Lr12, 13, and 34 among 116 contemporary soft red winter wheat cultivars and breeding lines. Adult-plant resistance was detected by inoculating flag leaves with a race that was virulent on seedlings. Approximately 90% of the lines expressed resistance under controlled conditions. It was postulated that the adult-plant resistance in 67 lines was due in part to either Lr12, 13, or 34; the adult-plant resistance detected in 17 lines was attributed to Lr12 based on a distinctive low infection type very similar to that on the isoline TcLr12; the adult-plant resistance in 27 lines was attributed to Lr34, as all of these lines expressed a “leaf tip necrosis” in the field (a phenotype controlled by a gene known to be tightly linked with Lr34); and the adult-plant resistance in 23 lines was attributed to Lr13 based on a high infection type at 18.1°C and low infection type at 25.5°C with one or more pathogen isolates that were virulent on Lr13 at 18.1°C and avirulent on Lr13 at 25.5°C. The adult-plant resistance detected in the remaining 40% of the lines was due to one or more unidentified genes for adult-plant resistance. In a 4-year field study at several locations, nearly 29% of the lines were resistant at all locations, no line was susceptible at all locations, and only 30% of the lines were susceptible at one or more locations. Given that many of the lines in this study were resistant to all known races of P. triticina before being released as cultivars, the high frequency of adult-plant resistance in this study demonstrates that adult-plant resistance can be incorporated even in the presence of highly effective seedling resistance.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society