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Journal of Applied Genetics 48(3), 2007, pp. 199-210

The expression and genetics of resistance to stripe (yellow) rust in three European and four New Zealand wheat cultivars

Amin K. Pathan, Robert F. Park, Colin R. Wellings, Harbans S. Bariana

Abstract: Adult plant resistance (APR) to stripe rust in three European (Pegaso, Victo and Aztec) and four New Zealand cultivars (Weka, Kopara, Kokart and Takahe) was characterised using hybrid analysis and tests of allelism. In agreement with earlier work, the APR in most of these cultivars appeared to be controlled by two or more genes with additive effects. It was suggested that heavy selection pressure should be avoided in early generations in breeding programs utilising APR, because lines in which APR genes are heterozygous may display lower levels of resistance due to the incompletely dominant and interactive nature of many APRs. Such lines are capable of generating more resistant progenies following selfing. It was also demonstrated that it is possible to misclassify F2 plants as susceptible if APR genes are in a heterozygous condition, especially in the case of gene(s) conferring intermediate levels of resistance. The presence of a common APR gene in Kopara and Takahe, and perhaps Weka, was suggested because all shared a common parent in their pedigree and no susceptible plants were observed in F2 populations derived from intercrossing them. The difficulties inherent in conducting genetic studies on APRs and the need for large population sizes for such studies were emphasised.

Key words: gene, inheritance, Puccinia striiformis, Triticum aestivum.

Correspondence: R.F. Park, The University of Sydney, Plant Breeding Institute, PMB 11, Camden NSW 2570, Australia; e-mail:

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