Biotech Updates

Geneticists Develop New Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus Resistance Genetic Markers

February 8, 2017

No effective chemical treatment is available for wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV), a major threat in wheat-growing areas of the world. In 2011, WSMV resistance was identified on chromosome 3BS and named the gene Wsm2.

Effective molecular markers closely linked to the target genes are the key to the success of marker-assisted selection on traits such as WSMV resistance, according to Dr. Shuyu Liu, Texas A&M AgriLife Research small grains geneticist. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are routinely used in plant breeding programs to identify superior genotypes. His research team has identified eight SNPs flanking Wsm2, Liu said, helping increase the efficiency in selection for the resistance needed to battle WSMV.

"A single marker linked to target genes may not be sufficient to screen across diverse genetic backgrounds," Liu said. "Therefore, a set of tightly linked markers on each side of the gene is the best predictor for Wsm2 with higher accuracy." These tightly linked SNPs will be useful for marker-assisted selection for WSMV resistance, he said.

For more details, read the news release at AgriLife Today.