Background: Lr16 is a widely deployed leaf rust resistance gene in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) that is highly effective against the North American Puccinia triticina population when pyramided with the gene Lr34. Lr16 is a seedling leaf rust resistance gene conditioning an incompatible interaction with a distinct necrotic ring surrounding the uredinium. Lr16 was previously mapped to the telomeric region of the short arm of wheat chromosome 2B. The goals of this study were to develop numerous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for the Lr16 region and identify diagnostic gene-specific SNP marker assays for marker-assisted selection (MAS).
Results: Forty-three SNP markers were developed and mapped on chromosome 2BS tightly linked with the resistance gene Lr16 across four mapping populations representing a total of 1528 gametes. Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) assays were designed for all identified SNPs. Resistance gene analogs (RGAs) linked with the Lr16 locus were identified and RGA-based SNP markers were developed. The diagnostic potential of the SNPs co-segregating with Lr16 was evaluated in a diverse set of 133 cultivars and breeding lines. Six SNP markers were consistent with the Lr16 phenotype and are accurately predictive of Lr16 for all wheat lines/cultivars in the panel.
Conclusions: Lr16 was mapped relative to SNP markers in four populations. Six SNP markers exhibited high quality clustering in the KASP assay and are suitable for MAS of Lr16 in wheat breeding programs.