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Fine mapping of barley locus Rps6 conferring resistance to wheat stripe rust


Key message

Barley resistance to wheat stripe rust has remained effective for a long time and, therefore, the genes underlying this resistance can be a valuable tool to engineer durable resistance in wheat. Wheat stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a major disease of wheat that is causing large economic losses in many wheat-growing regions of the world. Deployment of Pst resistance genes has been an effective strategy for controlling this pathogen, but many of these genes have been defeated by new Pst races. In contrast, genes providing resistance to this wheat pathogen in other grass species (nonhost resistance) have been more durable. Barley varieties (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare) are predominately immune to wheat Pst, but we identified three accessions of wild barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) that are susceptible to Pst. Using these accessions, we mapped a barley locus conferring resistance to Pst on the distal region of chromosome arm 7HL and designated it as Rps6. The detection of the same locus in the cultivated barley 'Tamalpais' and in the Chinese barley 'Y12' by an allelism test suggests that Rps6 may be a frequent component of barley intermediate host resistance to Pst. Using a high-density mapping population (>10,000 gametes) we precisely mapped Rps6 within a 0.14 cM region (~500 kb contig) that is colinear to regions in Brachypodium (<94 kb) and rice (<9 kb). Since no strong candidate gene was identified in these colinear regions, a dedicated positional cloning effort in barley will be required to identify Rps6. The identification of this and other barley genes conferring resistance to Pst can contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms for durable resistance against this devastating wheat pathogen.

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