Open Access Research article

Genetic mapping and marker development for resistance of wheat against the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus neglectus

Dimanthi V Jayatilake1, Elise J Tucker12, Harbans Bariana3, Haydn Kuchel14, James Edwards124, Alan C McKay5, Ken Chalmers12 and Diane E Mather12*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia

2 Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, Waite Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia

3 The University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute – Cobbitty, PMB 4011, Narellan, NSW 2567, Australia

4 Australian Grain Technologies, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia

5 South Australian Research and Development Institute, Plant Research Centre, 2b Hartley Grove, Urrbrae, SA 5064, Australia

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BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:230  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-230

Published: 31 December 2013



The Rlnn1 locus, which resides on chromosome 7A of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) confers moderate resistance against the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus neglectus. Prior to this research, the exact linkage relationships of Rlnn1 with other loci on chromosome 7A were not clear and there were no simple codominant markers available for selection of Rlnn1 in wheat breeding. The objectives of the research reported here were to (1) develop an improved genetic map of the Rlnn1 region of chromosome 7A and (2) develop molecular markers that could be used in marker-assisted selection to improve resistance of wheat against P. neglectus.


A large-effect quantitative trait locus (QTL) for resistance against P. neglectus was genetically mapped using a population of Excalibur/Kukri doubled haploid lines. This QTL coincides in position with the rust resistance gene(s) Lr20/Sr15, the phytoene synthase gene Psy-A1 and 10 molecular markers, including five new markers designed using wheat-rice comparative genomics and wheat expressed sequence tags. Two of the new markers are suitable for use as molecular diagnostic tools to distinguish plants that carry Rlnn1 and Lr20/Sr15 from those that do not carry these resistance genes.


The genomic location of Rlnn1 was confirmed to be in the terminal region of the long arm of chromosome 7A. Molecular markers were developed that provide simple alternatives to costly phenotypic assessment of resistance against P. neglectus in wheat breeding. In Excalibur, genetic recombination seems to be completely suppressed in the Rlnn1 region.

Root lesion nematode; Pratylenchus neglectus; Wheat; Molecular markers; Rlnn1; Lr20; Sr15; Psy-A1