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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Identification and characterization of wheat stem rust resistance gene Sr21 effective against the Ug99 race group at high temperature

  • Author(s): Chen, S
  • Zhang, W
  • Bolus, S
  • Rouse, MN
  • Dubcovsky, J
  • et al.

© 2018 Chen et al. Wheat stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), is a devastating foliar disease. The Ug99 race group has combined virulence to most stem rust (Sr) resistance genes deployed in wheat and is a threat to global wheat production. Here we identified a coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat protein (NLR) completely linked to the Ug99 resistance gene Sr21 from Triticum monococcum. Loss-of-function mutations and transgenic complementation confirmed that this gene is Sr21. Sr21 transcripts were significantly higher at high temperatures, and this was associated with significant upregulation of pathogenesis related (PR) genes and increased levels of resistance at those temperatures. Introgression of Sr21 into hexaploid wheat resulted in lower levels of resistance than in diploid wheat, but transgenic hexaploid wheat lines with high levels of Sr21 expression showed high levels of resistance. Sr21 can be a valuable component of transgenic cassettes or gene pyramids combining multiple resistance genes against Ug99.

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