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Review article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

A systematic review of rye (Secale cereale L.) as a source of resistance to pathogens and pests in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Crespo-Herrera, Leonardo A.; Garkava-Gustavsson, Larisa; Ahman, Inger


Wheat is globally one of the most important crops. With the current human population growth rate, there is an increasing need to raise wheat productivity by means of plant breeding, along with development of more efficient and sustainable agricultural systems. Damage by pathogens and pests, in combination with adverse climate effects, need to be counteracted by incorporating new germplasm that makes wheat more resistant/tolerant to such stress factors. Rye has been used as a source for improved resistance to pathogens and pests in wheat during more than 50 years. With new devastating stem and yellow rust pathotypes invading wheat at large acreage globally, along with new biotypes of pest insects, there is renewed interest in using rye as a source of resistance. Currently the proportion of wheat cultivars with rye chromatin varies between countries, with examples of up to 34%. There is mainly one rye source, Petkus, that has been widely exploited and that has contributed considerably to raise yields and increase disease resistance in wheat. Successively, the multiple disease resistances conferred by this source has been overcome by new pathotypes of leaf rust, yellow rust, stem rust and powdery mildew. However, there are several other rye sources reported to make wheat more resistant to various biotic constraints when their rye chromatin has been transferred to wheat. There is also development of knowledge on how to produce new rye translocation, substitution and addition lines. Here we compile information that may facilitate decision making for wheat breeders aiming to transfer resistance to biotic constraints from rye to elite wheat germplasm.


Wheat breeding; Disease; Insect; Mite; Nematode; Substitution; Translocation

Published in

2017, Volume: 154, article number: 14

        SLU Authors

      • Associated SLU-program

        SLU Plant Protection Network

        Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG2 Zero hunger

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Agricultural Science

        Publication identifier


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