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Identification of New Pathogenic Races of Common Bunt and Dwarf Bunt Fungi, and Evaluation of Known Races Using an Expanded Set of Differential Wheat Lines

March 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  3
Pages  361 - 369

Blair J. Goates, United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Aberdeen, ID 83210

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Accepted for publication 4 October 2011.

Pathogenic races of Tilletia caries and T. foetida, which cause common bunt of wheat (Triticum aestivum), and Tilletia contraversa, which causes dwarf bunt of wheat, have been identified previously by their reaction to 10 differential wheat lines, each containing single bunt resistance genes Bt1 through Bt10. The reactions of races to the differential wheat lines follow the classic gene-for gene system for host–pathogen interactions. The pathogens are closely related and resistance to both diseases in wheat is controlled by the same genes. To better define pathogenic races, six additional wheat lines containing the genes Bt11 through Bt15 and a wheat line with a resistance factor designated as Btp were added to the set of 10 differentials and tested with all named U.S. races of common bunt and dwarf bunt. In addition, new isolates of dwarf bunt, and common bunt from hybrids and field collections, were tested with all 16 differentials for race identification. Six new races of T. caries, five new races of T. foetida, and two new races of T. contraversa were identified. Races of common bunt virulent to Bt8 or Bt12, and dwarf bunt races virulent to the combinations of Bt11 and Bt12, and Bt8, Bt9, Bt10, Bt11, and Bt12, were identified for the first time. Comparison of the reactions of the common bunt races with the Bt14 and Bt15 differentials grown in different environments after initial infection showed that these genes are temperature sensitive, indicating they should be excluded from the set of differential lines to avoid ambiguity in determining virulent or avirulent reactions. In the previous list of bunt races, there were races that had the same reaction to the set of 10 differentials but were designated as different races. These races were not differentiated further with the six additional differentials, indicating that the duplicate races should be dropped from the list of pathogenic races. The new races of common bunt and dwarf bunt identified have unique patterns of virulence that allow specific targeting and elucidation of bunt resistance genes in wheat and will aid the development of bunt-resistant wheat cultivars.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2012.