Evaluation of the susceptibility of modern, wild, ancestral, and mutational wheat lines to Septoria tritici blotch disease

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Globally, bread wheat production is threatened by fungal diseases, including the devastating disease Septoria tritici blotch (STB). Given the global importance of STB, and the difficulty in identifying novel sources of resistance to this disease, we screened a variety of wheat genotypes, including wild, ancestral, and mutagenized lines, for their STB response. This delineated a panel of wild wheat relatives and Watkins collection lines with exceptional resistance to a range of Zymoseptoria tritici isolates, some of which are highly virulent on modern, elite wheat varieties. Additionally, we characterized the STB susceptibility of 500 lines of the wheat cultivar Cadenza TILLING population and developed backcross derivatives of two TILLING lines that show dominant partial resistance to STB. These backcross lines are partially resistant to multiple isolates of Z. tritici, and, with the wild and ancestral lines identified, provide a useful reservoir of STB-resistant germplasm for use in wheat breeding programmes.