Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Eltaher S, Mourad AMI, Baenziger PS, Wegulo S, Belamkar V and Sallam A (2021) Identification and Validation of High LD Hotspot Genomic Regions Harboring Stem Rust Resistant Genes on 1B, 2A (Sr38), and 7B Chromosomes in Wheat. Front. Genet. 12:749675. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.749675




Stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici Eriks. is an important disease of common wheat globally. The production and cultivation of genetically resistant cultivars are one of the most successful and environmentally friendly ways to protect wheat against fungal pathogens. Seedling screening and genome-wide association study (GWAS) were used to determine the genetic diversity of wheat genotypes obtained on stem rust resistance loci. At the seedling stage, the reaction of the common stem rust race QFCSC in Nebraska was measured in a set of 212 genotypes from F3:6 lines. The results indicated that 184 genotypes (86.8%) had different degrees of resistance to this common race. While 28 genotypes (13.2%) were susceptible to stem rust. A set of 11,911 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers was used to perform GWAS which detected 84 significant marker-trait associations (MTAs) with SNPs located on chromosomes 1B, 2A, 2B, 7B and an unknown chromosome. Promising high linkage disequilibrium (LD) genomic regions were found in all chromosomes except 2B which suggested they include candidate genes controlling stem rust resistance. Highly significant LD was found among these 59 significant SNPs on chromosome 2A and 12 significant SNPs with an unknown chromosomal position. The LD analysis between SNPs located on 2A and Sr38 gene reveal high significant LD genomic regions which was previously reported. To select the most promising stem rust resistant genotypes, a new approach was suggested based on four criteria including, phenotypic selection, number of resistant allele(s), the genetic distance among the selected parents, and number of the different resistant allele(s) in the candidate crosses. As a result, 23 genotypes were considered as the most suitable parents for crossing to produce highly resistant stem rust genotypes against the QFCSC.