Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 127, Issue 7, pp 1549–1559 | Cite as

Complementary epistasis involving Sr12 explains adult plant resistance to stem rust in Thatcher wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

  • Matthew N. Rouse
  • Luther E. Talbert
  • Davinder Singh
  • Jamie D. Sherman
Original Paper


Key message

Quantitative trait loci conferring adult plant resistance to Ug99 stem rust in Thatcher wheat display complementary gene action suggesting multiple quantitative trait loci are needed for effective resistance.


Adult plant resistance (APR) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), is desirable because this resistance can be Pgt race non-specific. Resistance derived from cultivar Thatcher can confer high levels of APR to the virulent Pgt race TTKSK (Ug99) when combined with stem rust resistance gene Sr57 (Lr34). To identify the loci conferring APR in Thatcher, we evaluated 160 RILs derived from Thatcher crossed to susceptible cultivar McNeal for field stem rust reaction in Kenya for two seasons and in St. Paul for one season. All RILs and parents were susceptible as seedlings to race TTKSK. However, adult plant stem rust severities in Kenya varied from 5 to 80 %. Composite interval mapping identified four quantitative trait loci (QTL). Three QTL were inherited from Thatcher and one, Sr57, was inherited from McNeal. The markers closest to the QTL peaks were used in an ANOVA to determine the additive and epistatic effects. A QTL on 3BS was detected in all three environments and explained 27–35 % of the variation. The peak of this QTL was at the same location as the Sr12 seedling resistance gene effective to race SCCSC. Epistatic interactions were significant between Sr12 and QTL on chromosome arms 1AL and 2BS. Though Sr12 cosegregated with the largest effect QTL, lines with Sr12 were not always resistant. The data suggest that Sr12 or a linked gene, though not effective to race TTKSK alone, confers APR when combined with other resistance loci.


Quantitative Trail Locus Stem Rust Adult Plant Resistance Significant Quantitative Trail Locus Stem Rust Resistance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding for this research was provided by the USDA-ARS National Plant Disease Recovery System, the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development), and the USDA-AFRI Triticeae Coordinated Agricultural Project (2011-68002-30029). We acknowledge the Computational Genetics Laboratory of the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for computational support. We are grateful to staff at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and at the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory for maintenance of field experiments. Mention of trademark, proprietary product, or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the USDA, and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products and vendors that might also be suitable.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The authors declare that the experiments comply with the current laws of the countries in which the experiments were performed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew N. Rouse
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luther E. Talbert
    • 3
  • Davinder Singh
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jamie D. Sherman
    • 3
  1. 1.Cereal Disease Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)St. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant Sciences and Plant PathologyMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  4. 4.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)MexicoMexico
  5. 5.Plant Breeding InstituteUniversity of SydneyNarellanAustralia

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