The necrotrophic root pathogens Rhizoctonia solani AG-8 and R. oryzae cause Rhizoctonia root rot and damping-off, yield-limiting diseases that pose barriers to the adoption of conservation tillage in wheat production systems. Existing control practices are only partially effective, and natural genetic resistance to Rhizoctonia has not been identified in wheat or its close relatives. We report the first genetic resistance/tolerance to R. solani AG-8 and R. oryzae in wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em Thell) germplasm 'Scarlet-Rz1'. Scarlet-Rz1 was derived from the allohexaploid spring wheat cultivar Scarlet using EMS mutagenesis. Tolerant seedlings displayed substantial root and shoot growth after 14 days in the presence of 100-400 propagules per gram soil of R. solani AG-8 and R. oryzae in greenhouse assays. BC2F4 individuals of Scarlet-Rz1 showed a high and consistent degree of tolerance. Seedling tolerance was transmissible and appeared to be dominant or co-dominant. Scarlet-Rz1 is a promising genetic resource for developing Rhizoctonia-tolerant wheat cultivars because the tolerance trait immediately can be deployed into wheat breeding germplasm through cross-hybridization, thereby avoiding difficulties with transfer from secondary or tertiary relatives as well as constraints associated with genetically modified plants. Our findings also demonstrate the utility of chemical mutagenesis for generating tolerance to necrotrophic pathogens in allohexaploid wheat.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science