Identification and mapping of resistance to stem rust in the European winter wheat cultivars Spark and Rialto

A mapping population of 126 doubled haploid (DH) lines derived from a cross between the English winter wheat cultivars Spark and Rialto was evaluated for response to Pucciniagraminis f. sp. tritici in the greenhouse and in artificially inoculated field plots at two locations over 3 years (2011, 2012 and 2013). Genetic analysis indicated the involvement of two seedling genes (Sr5 and Sr31, contributed by Rialto) and three adult plant resistance genes. QTL analyses of field data showed the involvement of three consistent effects QTL on chromosome arms 1BS (contributed by Rialto), and 3BS and chromosome 5A (contributed by Spark) in the observed resistance to stem rust. These QTLs explained average phenotypic variation of 78.5, 9.0 and 5.9 %, respectively. With the presence of virulence for Sr5 and absence of Sr31 virulence in the field, the QTL detected on 1BS (QSr.sun-1BS) was attributed to the major seedling resistance gene Sr31. The QTL located on chromosome arm 3BS (QSr.sun-3BS) was closely associated with SSR marker gwm1034, and the QTL detected on 5A (QSr.sun-5A) was closely linked with SSR marker gwm443. DH lines carrying the combination of QSr.sun-3BS and QSr.sun-5A exhibited lower stem rust responses indicating the additive effects of the two APR genes in reducing disease severity. The markers identified in this study can be useful in pyramiding these QTLs with other major or minor genes and marker assisted selection for stem rust resistance in wheat.