Marker assisted stacking/pyramiding of stem rust, leaf rust and powdery mildew disease resistance genes (Sr2/Lr27/Yr30, Sr24/Lr24 and Sr36/Pm6) for durable resistance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Wheat being a staple food crop is essential for food security. Rust diseases like stem and leaf rust continues to be a serious threat to wheat production at national and international level. In recent years, powdery mildew disease is emerging as a threat to wheat production due to the climate change and intensive crop cultivation practices. Development of resistant cultivar is the most economical, reliable and sustainable way to control rusts and powdery mildew diseases. Stem rust, leaf rust and powdery mildew resistance genes viz., Sr2/Lr27/Yr30, Sr24/Lr24 and Sr36/ Pm6 were pyramided using marker assisted backcross breeding approach. Based on phenotypic observations, five populations were selected at BC4 F6 with respect to yield traits, leaf and stem rust and powdery mildew reactions. These populations were subjected to molecular marker analyses. Out of the five populations, Sr2+ were present in all the populations, while Sr24/Lr24 and Sr36/Pm6 was present in the fourth and fifth population. The identified population carrying Sr24/Lr24, Sr36/Pm6 and Sr2+ genes were stabilized at BC4 F7 generation. The use of gene stacks/pyramids of major (Sr24/Lr24 and Sr36/Pm6) and minor gene (Sr2+) that confer resistance to most of the pathotypes of stem rust, leaf rust and powdery mildew could impart durability and sustainability to the cultivars than single gene deployment.
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