Quantitative trait loci conferring blast resistance in hexaploid wheat at adult plant stage

Blast disease, caused by the Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum pathotype (MoT), is a major concern for wheat production in tropical and subtropical regions. The most destructive symptoms occur in wheat spikes. Infected spikes become bleached due to partial or total sterility, producing small and wrinkled grains. High disease pressure of the disease results in significant yield losses. This study aimed to identify wheat quantitative trait loci (QTLs) conferring resistance to blast disease at the heading stage. A doubled-haploid population was developed from the cross between BRS 209 (susceptible) and CBFusarium ENT014 (resistant, carrying the 2NS translocation). A linkage map was constructed containing 5,381 molecular markers and the inclusive composite interval mapping method was employed for QTL detection. Four QTLs were mapped in response to two MoT isolates. The major QTL identified on the 2AS chromosome explained an average of 84.0% of the phenotypic variation for spike bleaching at 9 days postinoculation and reinforces the potency of the 2NS translocation. Recombination between the distal region of chromosome 2AS and the 2NS marker was found. These results could explain why some lines carrying the VENTRIUP/LN2 marker have a variable reaction to the disease. QTLs on 5B and 7B chromosomes were also identified. Two mechanisms of resistance were hypothesized: the hypersensitive response and resistance to colonization of host tissues. The KASP markers thus developed and simple sequence repeats (SSRs) allocated in QTL regions can be used in the future for the development of wheat blast-resistant cultivars.