Validation of Loci Conferring Adult Plant Resistance to Powdery Mildew in Wheat Cultivar Massey and Identification of Diagnostic Molecular Markers

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Virginia Tech

Powdery mildew, caused by the pathogen Blumeria graminis (DC) Speer (Syn. Erysiphe graminis DC) f. sp. tritici, is a major disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Race-specific resistance is easily identified in the field due to its qualitative phenotype and it is easy to incorporate because it is inherited as a single gene. Unfortunately, this type of resistance is easily overcome by the pathogen. Traits associated with quantitative trait loci (QTL) such as adult-plant resistance (APR), have become popular with plant breeders because of their durability over a wide geographic range and time. Due to the quantitative nature of these genes, they are difficult to study requiring multiple assessments of disease development under natural conditions in more than one location over a period of several weeks. Numerous QTL for APR to powdery mildew have been mapped in independent studies in different wheat backgrounds. The wheat cultivar Massey has been the subject of several studies due to its APR to powdery mildew that has remained effective for several decades. However, it has been difficult to identity simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers that are tightly linked to the QTL for APR in Massey. Such markers give breeders an advantage by allowing them to quickly identify and select for traits that would be difficult to distinguish in the field among breeding progeny from several backgrounds. Therefore, identification of tightly linked markers associated with APR to powdery mildew is necessary so that these traits can be selected for reliably in progeny.

Triticum aestivum, wheat, adult-plant resistance (APR), Blumeria graminis tritici, powdery mildew, QTL, marker-assisted selection, genetic map