Genetics of resistance to wheat leaf rust

Author(s): Kolmer JA


Leaf rust (caused by Puccinia recondita f. sp. tritici) is the most widespread and regularly occurring rust on wheat. Genetic resistance is the most economical method of reducing yield losses due to leaf rust. To date, 46 leaf rust resistance genes have been designated and mapped in wheat. Resistance gene expression is dependent on the genetics of host-parasite interaction, temperature conditions, plant developmental stage, and interaction between resistance genes with suppressors or other resistance genes in the wheat genomes. Genes expressed in seedling plants have not provided long-lasting effective leaf rust resistance. Adult-plant resistance genes Lr13 and Lr34 singly and together have provided the most durable resistance to leaf rust in wheat throughout the world. Continued efforts to isolate, characterize, and map leaf rust resistance genes is essential given the ability of the leaf rust fungus to overcome deployed resistance genes.

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