Main content area

Development of a Greenhouse Screening Method for Adult Plant Response in Wheat to Stem Rust

Bender, C. M., Prins, R., Pretorius, Z. A.
Plant disease 2016 v.100 no.8 pp. 1627-1633
Puccinia graminis, adults, chromosome mapping, chromosomes, dew, doubled haploids, genes, greenhouse production, greenhouses, inoculation methods, inoculum, leaves, mature plants, phenotype, plant response, races, screening, stem rust, stems, urediniospores, wheat
Screening for adult plant resistance in wheat to stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, is generally conducted in field plots. Although such evaluations are successful if managed properly, field ratings are time consuming, expensive, weather dependent, and open to inoculum of unwanted races or other confounding diseases. The objective of this study was to develop a dependable system of screening the response of adult plants to stem rust under greenhouse conditions. A comparison of inoculation methods and incubation environments showed that plants inoculated with urediniospores suspended in water, followed by a 24 h dew period in a plastic chamber constructed in a greenhouse, gave the most consistent results. Measurements of response type, stem rust severity, and frequency in follow-up experiments indicated that the most reliable infection was obtained when plants sprayed with 1.25 mg urediniospores per ml water were incubated in the plastic chamber. Using the optimized protocol, a Kariega × Avocet S doubled haploid population was inoculated with two P. graminis f. sp. tritici races. Depending on the race, composite interval mapping showed flag leaf infection type to be significantly influenced by regions on chromosomes 6A, 6D, and 7D. Stem rust severity and reaction type mapped to chromosomes 6D and/or 6A. The Lr34/Yr18/Sr57 gene derived from Kariega on chromosome 7D affected the rust response on flag leaves but not on stems of greenhouse-grown plants. This study showed that phenotyping and genetic analysis of especially major effect stem rust resistance in adult wheat plants is possible and reproducible under controlled conditions in a greenhouse.