Identification and genetic characterization of an Aegilops tauschii ortholog of the wheat leaf rust disease resistance gene Lr1
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Aegilops tauschii ( goat grass) is the progenitor of the D genome in hexaploid bread wheat. We have screened more than 200 Ae. tauschii accessions for resistance against leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) isolates, which are avirulent on the leaf rust resistance gene Lr1. Approximately 3.5% of the Ae. tauschii accessions displayed the same low infection type as the tester line Thatcher Lr1. The accession Tr. t. 213, which showed resistance after artificial infection with Lr1 isolates both in Mexico and in Switzerland, was chosen for further analysis. Genetic analysis showed that the resistance in this accession is controlled by a single dominant gene, which mapped at the same chromosomal position as Lr1 in wheat. It was delimited in a 1.3-cM region between the restriction fragment length polymorphism ( RFLP) markers ABC718 and PSR567 on chromosome 5DL of Ae. tauschii. The gene was more tightly linked to PSR567 (0.47 cM) than to ABC718 (0.79 cM). These results indicate that the resistance gene in Ae. tauschii accession Tr. t. 213 is an ortholog of the leaf rust resistance gene Lr1 of bread wheat, suggesting that Lr1 originally evolved in diploid goat grass and was introgressed into the wheat D genome during or after domestication of hexaploid wheat. Compared to hexaploid wheat, higher marker polymorphism and recombination frequencies were observed in the region of the Lr1 ortholog in Ae. tauschii. The identification of Lr1Ae, the orthologous gene of wheat Lr1, in Ae. tauschii will allow map-based cloning of Lr1 from this genetically simpler, diploid genome.
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