Discovering new alleles for yellow spot resistance in the Vavilov wheat collection
GWAS detected 11 yellow spot resistance QTL in the Vavilov wheat collection. Promising adult-plant resistance loci could provide a sustainable genetic solution to yellow spot in modern wheat varieties.
Yellow spot, caused by the fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr), is the most economically damaging foliar disease of wheat in Australia. Genetic resistance is considered to be the most sustainable means for disease management, yet the genomic regions underpinning resistance to Ptr, particularly adult-plant resistance (APR), remain vastly unknown. In this study, we report results of a genome-wide association study using 295 accessions from the Vavilov wheat collection which were extensively tested for response to Ptr infections in glasshouse and field trials at both seedling an adult growth stages. Combining phenotypic datasets from multiple experiments in Australia and Russia with 25,286 genome-wide, high-quality DArTseq markers, we detected a total of 11 QTL, of which 5 were associated with seedling resistance, 3 with all-stage resistance, and 3 with APR. Interestingly, the novel APR QTL were effective even in the presence of host sensitivity gene Tsn1. These genomic regions could offer broad-spectrum yellow spot protection, not just to ToxA but also other pathogenicity or virulence factors. Vavilov wheat accessions carrying APR QTL combinations displayed enhanced levels of resistance highlighting the potential for QTL stacking through breeding. We propose that the APR genetic factors discovered in our study could be used to improve resistance levels in modern wheat varieties and contribute to the sustainable control of yellow spot.
The authors give thanks to The University of Queensland (UQ) for a PhD International Scholarship to EGD. The research was partially supported by UQ Early Career Researcher grant for LTH. The authors also give thanks to the technical staff at Central Glasshouse Facilities (UQ, St. Lucia) and Hermitage Research Facility (Warwick, Queensland) for establishing and managing experiments.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
Human and animal rights
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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