Molecular Breeding

, 39:8 | Cite as

Genetic mapping of a major gene for leaf rust resistance in soft red winter wheat cultivar AGS 2000

  • Suraj Sapkota
  • Yuanfeng Hao
  • Jerry Johnson
  • Benjamin Lopez
  • Dan Bland
  • Zhenbang Chen
  • Steve Sutton
  • James Buck
  • John Youmans
  • Mohamed MergoumEmail author


Leaf rust (LR), caused by Puccinia triticina (Pt), is a major disease of wheat worldwide. Genetic resistance is the most effective, economic, and environmentally safe method to reduce losses caused by LR. Seventy-nine LR resistance genes have been identified so far; however, only a few of them are still effective due to the constant evolution of new Pt races. The objectives of this study were to characterize the genetic basis of LR resistance in the soft red winter wheat (SRWW) cultivar AGS 2000 at seedling stage, and identify markers for marker-assisted selection (MAS). A mapping population of 175 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was developed from a cross between the susceptible cultivar Pioneer® variety 26R61 (26R61) and AGS 2000. Two out of four Pt races (MBTNB, MFGKG, TCRKG, and MCTNB) showed segregating reactions for the parental lines and RIL population at the seedling stage. Whole genome QTL analysis detected a single common QTL for resistance to both Pt races (MFGKG and MBTNB) on chromosome 2BS. The gene was flanked by wPt-666389 and wPt-2600 markers and explained up to 75.3% of phenotypic variation for Pt race MBTNB, and is therefore a Mendelian factor. LR resistance genes, Lr13, Lr16, Lr23, Lr48, and Lr73, were all detected on 2BS; however, based on their physical and genetic positions, the gene was distinct and therefore temporarily designated as LrA2K. The closely linked marker Xwmc770 to LrA2K has been validated on a set of wheat cultivars and can be used in MAS for LR resistance.


Wheat Leaf rust Puccinia triticina Recombinant inbred line (RIL) Genetic mapping Marker-assisted selection (MAS) 



We would like to thank Dr. James Kolmer, Professor of Plant Pathology at University of Minnesota, Cereal Rust Lab, for providing three of the Puccinia triticina races used in this study. Additionally, we would like to thank the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium for providing access to the reference sequence of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring (IWGSC RefSeq v1.0).

Author contributions

M. Mergoum designed the experiment; S. Sapkota, Y. Hao, B. Lopez, J. Youmans, Z. Chen, and D. Bland performed the experiments; S. Sapkota and Y. Hao analyzed the data; S. Sapkota wrote the manuscript; M. Mergoum, J. Johnson, and J. Buck edited the manuscript.

Funding information

Partial funding for this research was provided by the University of Georgia Research Foundation and the National Key R&D program of China (2016YFE0108600).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standards

The experiments were conducted with the ethical and professional standards of the university.

Supplementary material

11032_2018_909_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (471 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 471 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suraj Sapkota
    • 1
  • Yuanfeng Hao
    • 2
  • Jerry Johnson
    • 3
  • Benjamin Lopez
    • 1
  • Dan Bland
    • 3
  • Zhenbang Chen
    • 3
  • Steve Sutton
    • 3
  • James Buck
    • 4
  • John Youmans
    • 4
  • Mohamed Mergoum
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and GenomicsUniversity of GeorgiaGriffinUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Crop SciencesChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesUniversity of GeorgiaGriffinUSA
  4. 4.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of GeorgiaGriffinUSA

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