V.M. Mwale*, E.H.C. Chilembwe, H.C. Uluko
Wheat powdery mildew caused by fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici is one of the most prevalent wheat diseases in the world. Damages ranging from 13% to 34% when low or moderate infestation and 50% to 100% under severe infestation, could be recorded in a field. Understanding of the disease damaging trend as well as host resistance to the fungus is vital for successful control. Molecular studies on host resistance to powdery mildew are continuously being conducted resulting in identification and mapping of resistant genes in wheat. Currently, 50 resistant genes (Pm1 to Pm50) in more than 64 alleles of wheat cultivars have been located and designated. More than 50 resistance genes have been located but carry temporarily designated names. Use of molecular markers such as Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR), Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP), Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP), Random Amplified Polymorphic DNAs (RAPD) and Sequence Tagged Sites (STS) has contributed to identification and mapping of more than 33 resistant genes. Damages caused by wheat powdery mildew, major resistance genes and molecular markers flanking the resistant genes have been reviewed.
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