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The rpg4 gene confers recessive resistance to several races of wheat stem rust (Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici) and Rpg5 provides dominant resistance against isolates of the rye stem rust (P. graminis f. sp. secalis) in barley. The rpg4 and Rpg5 genes are tightly linked on chromosome 5H, and positional cloning using high-resolution populations clearly separated the genes, unambiguously identifying Rpg5; however, the identity of rpg4 remained unclear. High-resolution genotyping of critical recombinants at the rpg4/Rpg5 locus, designated here as rpg4-mediated resistance locus (RMRL) delimited two distinct yet tightly linked loci required for resistance, designated as RMRL1 and RMRL2. Utilizing virus-induced gene silencing, each gene at RMRL1, i.e., HvRga1 (a nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat [NBS-LRR] domain gene), Rpg5 (an NBS-LRR-protein kinase domain gene), and HvAdf3 (an actin depolymerizing factor-like gene), was individually silenced followed by inoculation with P. graminis f. sp. tritici race QCCJ. Silencing each gene changed the reaction type from incompatible to compatible, indicating that all three genes are required for rpg4-mediated resistance. This stem rust resistance mechanism in barley follows the emerging theme of unrelated pairs of genetically linked NBS-LRR genes required for specific pathogen recognition and resistance. It also appears that actin cytoskeleton dynamics may play an important role in determining resistance against several races of stem rust in barley.


X Wang, J Richards, T Gross, A Druka, A Kleinhofs, B Steffenson, M Acevedo, R Brueggeman. The rpg4-mediated resistance to wheat stem rust (Puccinia graminis) in barley (Hordeum vulgare) requires Rpg5, a second NBS-LRR gene, and an actin depolymerization factor. Molecular plant-microbe interactions : MPMI. 2013 Apr;26(4):407-18

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PMID: 23216085

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