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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Research Project #422979

Research Project: Improved Control of Stripe Rust in Cereal Crops

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Project Number: 2090-22000-015-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 28, 2012
End Date: Mar 27, 2017

Stripe rust is one of the most important diseases of wheat, causing significant crop losses every year throughout the world. Stripe rust of barley can cause significant yield loss in the western U.S. The long-term goal of this project is to reduce losses in wheat and barley yield and quality caused by stripe rust and assure stable, sustainable production while protecting the environment. Significant progress has been made in recent years in understanding virulence compositions of the pathogen population, identification of new sources of resistance, disease forecasting, and control of the disease using fungicides in recent years. However, more research is needed to monitor dynamic changes of virulent races, obtain better knowledge of resistance genes in elite germplasm, to identify more genes for effective resistance, and to develop molecular markers for use in the efficient incorporation of new genes into wheat and barley cultivars. For the next five years, we will conduct research to achieve the following objectives: 1). Use molecular markers and host plant responses to characterize and differentiate current and emergent virulent races of the stripe rust pathogens of wheat and barley. 2). Determine the distribution, nature, and effectiveness of host plant resistance genes amongst elite wheat and barley germplasm. 3). Identify and determine linkage relationships of new major and minor stripe rust resistance genes, and develop molecular markers for application in wheat and barley breeding efforts. Accomplishment of these objectives will lead to improved knowledge of the disease epidemiology, more resistance genes and germplasm, and more effective technology to achieve sustainable control of stripe rust.

Rust survey will be conducted in commercial fields, monitoring nurseries, trap plots, and experimental plots of wheat and barley, as well as wild grasses, during the plant growing-season. Rust samples will be collected by collaborators and us during rust survey. Stripe rust samples will be tested in our laboratory for race identification. New races will be tested on genetic stocks, breeding lines, and commercial cultivars to determine their danger potential. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers will be used to characterize races and populations of the stripe rust pathogens. All germplasm and breeding nurseries of wheat and barley will be evaluated in two locations: Pullman (eastern Washington) and Mt. Vernon (western Washington) under natural infection of the stripe rust pathogens. Uniform regional nurseries and cultivar monitoring nurseries, which include currently grown cultivars and advanced breeding lines from all U.S. regions and important stripe rust resistance stocks, will be tested with selected races at seedling stage under the low temperature profile (4-20C) and at adult-plant stage under the high temperature profile (10-30C) for determine race-specific all-stage resistance and/or non-race-specific high-temperature adult-plant resistance in wheat and barley germplasm. Stripe rust resistance genes in elite germplasm will be determined or postulated by testing elite lines, together with single resistance gene lines, with a series of races that will be selected to distinguish important genes; analyzing the pedigrees of the elite lines; testing elite lines, together with known gene lines, with molecular markers associated with particular genes; and conducting genetic studies to identify and map new genes. To identify and map new genes for effective resistance to stripe rust in wheat. Crosses have been made with resistant germplasm lines with a susceptible line. The recombinant inbred lines of these crosses will be phenotyped for stripe rust resistance in fields and also in the greenhouse with selected races and genotyped with resistance gene analog polymorphism (RGAP), SSR, and SNP markers. The phenotypic and genotypic data will be used to map the resistance gene(s) or QTL in each cross. New genes will be identified based on their resistant types, reactions to various races, and chromosomal locations in comparison with previously reported genes.