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Sources of resistance in primary synthetic hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to insect pests: Hessian fly, Russian wheat aphid and Sunn pest in the fertile crescent

Abstract

Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say), Russian wheat aphid (RWA), Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), and Sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps (Puton), are among the most important insect pests of wheat in North Africa, West and Central Asia. Host plant resistance is the most economical, environmentally friendly and practical means of controlling insect pests. Through field and greenhouse screening, several sources of resistance to Hessian fly, RWA and Sunn pest have been identified in wheat and its wild relatives. To further broaden the genetic base of resistance to these pests, 914 fixed lines of synthetic hexaploid wheat (SHW) commonly designated as primary synthetic wheat were evaluated for resistance to Hessian fly, RWA and Sunn pest. The initial screenings for RWA and Sunn pest were carried out in the field at Tel Hadya, Aleppo, Syria, and for Hessian fly in the greenhouse at Tel Hadya during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Promising accessions from the initial screening for Hessian fly, RWA and Sunn pest were evaluated for confirmation in replicated trials in the greenhouse and field. Fifteen SHWs showed high levels of resistance to Hessian fly and four showed moderate resistance. A wheat line derived from the cross (Triticum turgidum/T. dicoccoides) also showed a high level of resistance to Hessian fly. The level of resistance to RWA in SHW was considerably lower; only one SHW and one durum wheat ‘Altar 84’ exhibited a high level of resistance, while four SHW were moderately resistant. There were 21 SHW genotypes and one durum wheat ‘Langdon’ found resistant to Sunn pest feeding at the vegetative stage. Crosses between these potentially novel resistance sources and elite bread wheat were initiated. Genetic and genomic studies using these accessions are ongoing to identify and characterize the resistance genes and reveal potentially new resistance genes, which will be useful in breeding programs to develop wheat germplasm with multiple resistances to these pests.

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Acknowledgments

The authors sincerely thank Dr. A. Amri and Dr. M. Inagaki for reviewing this manuscript. We also thank Dr. Murari Singh, ICARDA biometrician, for providing assistance with statistical analysis of the data.

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Correspondence to M. El Bouhssini.

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El Bouhssini, M., Ogbonnaya, F.C., Chen, M. et al. Sources of resistance in primary synthetic hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to insect pests: Hessian fly, Russian wheat aphid and Sunn pest in the fertile crescent. Genet Resour Crop Evol 60, 621–627 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-012-9861-3

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Keywords

  • Hessian fly
  • Primary synthetic wheat
  • Resistance
  • Russian wheat aphid
  • Sunn pest
  • Triticum aestivum