A major QTL for powdery mildew resistance is stable over time and at two development stages in winter wheat
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Despite the large impact of powdery mildew in wheat cultivated areas, little has been done to study powdery mildew resistance by QTL analysis up to now. The objective of the present paper is to present how the genetic basis of powdery mildew resistance in the resistant wheat line RE714 have been studied by QTL analysis at the adult plant stage over the course of 3 years, and at the vernalized seedling plant stage, and a comparison between the results obtained. Two segregating populations (DH and F2:3) were derived from the cross between the resistant line (RE714), and a susceptible line (Hardi); these were analysed for powdery mildew resistance at the adult plant stage in the field under natural infection conditions in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The DH population was also tested for powdery mildew resistance at the vernalized seedling stage with four different isolates of powdery mildew. At the adult plant stage, a total of three QTLs (on chromosomes 5D, 4A and 6A) and five QTLs (on chromosomes 5D, 6A, 7A and 7B) were found for the DH and F2:3 populations, respectively. The genetic control of resistance was found to be polygenic but involved a major QTL (on chromosome 5D), which was detected each year and which explained a high proportion of the variability observed (28.1%–37.9%). At the vernalized seedling stage, two QTLs were found (on chromosomes 5D and 7B) and the QTL detected on chromosome 5D was common to the four isolates tested. The comparison between the two development stages showed that the QTL on chromosome 5D was detected in all the different environments tested and again explained a high proportion of the variability. Different molecular interpretations of this QTL have also been discussed.
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