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Identification of a major dominant gene for race-nonspecific tan spot resistance in wild emmer wheat

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Key message

A single dominant gene found in tetraploid and hexaploid wheat controls broad-spectrum race-nonspecific resistance to the foliar disease tan spot caused by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis.


Tan spot is an important foliar disease of durum and common wheat caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis. Genetic studies in common wheat have shown that pathogen-produced necrotrophic effectors interact with host genes in an inverse gene-for-gene manner to cause disease, but quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with broad race-nonspecific resistance also exist. Less work has been done to understand the genetics of tan spot interactions in durum wheat. Here, we evaluated a set of Langdon durum—wild emmer (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) disomic chromosome substitution lines for reaction to four P. tritici-repentis isolates representing races 1, 2, 3, and 5 to identify wild emmer chromosomes potentially containing tan spot resistance genes. Chromosome 3B from the wild emmer accession IsraelA rendered the tan spot-susceptible durum cultivar Langdon resistant to all four fungal isolates. Genetic analysis indicated that a single dominant gene, designated Tsr7, governed resistance. Detailed mapping experiments showed that the Tsr7 locus is likely the same as the race-nonspecific QTL previously identified in the hexaploid wheat cultivars BR34 and Penawawa. Four user-friendly SNP-based semi-thermal asymmetric reverse PCR (STARP) markers cosegregated with Tsr7 and should be useful for marker-assisted selection of resistance. In addition to 3B, other wild emmer chromosomes contributed moderate levels of tan spot resistance, and, as has been shown previously for tetraploid wheat, the Tsn1-Ptr ToxA interaction was not associated with susceptibility. This is the first report of a major dominant gene governing resistance to tan spot in tetraploid wheat.

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The authors thank Shirley Zhong for technical assistance. This work was supported by USDA-Agricultural Research Service CRIS project 3060-21000-038-00D. This material is based upon work supported, in part, by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Hatch project number ND02224.

Author information

JF and ZL initiated the study and designed the experiment. JF, SX and AC developed and/or maintained the mapping populations and genetic stocks. JF, MO, GK, and AC conducted mapping studies and/or contributed marker information and marker analysis. MO developed STARP markers. JF, MO, and GK conducted linkage analysis. ZH, MO, and GK conducted tan spot inoculations and analysis. JF and ZH wrote the manuscript and all authors contributed to the final version.

Correspondence to Justin D. Faris or Zhaohui Liu.

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Faris, J.D., Overlander, M.E., Kariyawasam, G.K. et al. Identification of a major dominant gene for race-nonspecific tan spot resistance in wild emmer wheat. Theor Appl Genet 133, 829–841 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-019-03509-8

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