Highly effective mlo-based powdery mildew resistance in hexaploid wheat without pleiotropic effects

Christina R. Ingvardsen, Julio A. Massange-Sánchez, Finn Borum, Winnie S. Füchtbauer, Merethe Bagge, Søren Knudsen, Per L. Gregersen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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Application of the mlo-based resistance in barley against powdery mildew attacks is a major success in crop breeding, since it confers durable disease resistance. Resistance caused by mutations in the Mlo gene seems to be ubiquitous across a range of species. This work addresses the introduction of mlo-based resistance into hexaploid wheat, which is complicated by the occurrence of three homoeologous genes: Mlo-A1, Mlo-B1 and Mlo-D1. EMS-generated mutant plants were screened for mutations in the three homoeologues. We selected and combined 6, 8, and 4 mutations, respectively, to obtain triple homozygous mlo mutant lines. Twenty-four mutant lines showed highly effective resistance towards attack by the powdery mildew pathogen under field conditions. All 18 mutations appeared to contribute to resistance; however, they had different effects on the occurrence of symptoms such as chlorotic and necrotic spots, which are pleiotropic to the mlo-based powdery mildew resistance. We conclude that to obtain highly effective powdery mildew resistance in wheat and to avoid detrimental pleiotropic effects, all three Mlo homoeologues should be mutated; however, at least one of the mutations should be of the weaker type in order to alleviate strong pleiotropic effects from the other mutations.

TidsskriftPlant Science
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023


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