An unusual tandem kinase fusion protein confers leaf rust resistance in wheat

Yajun Wang, Michael Abrouk, Spyridon Gourdoupis, Dal Hoe Koo, Miroslava Karafiátová, István Molnár, Kateřina Holušová, Jaroslav Doležel, Naveenkumar Athiyannan, Emile Cavalet-Giorsa, Łukasz Jaremko, Jesse Poland, Simon G. Krattinger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The introgression of chromosome segments from wild relatives is an established strategy to enrich crop germplasm with disease-resistance genes 1. Here we use mutagenesis and transcriptome sequencing to clone the leaf rust resistance gene Lr9, which was introduced into bread wheat from the wild grass species Aegilops umbellulata 2. We established that Lr9 encodes an unusual tandem kinase fusion protein. Long-read sequencing of a wheat Lr9 introgression line and the putative Ae. umbellulata Lr9 donor enabled us to assemble the ~28.4-Mb Lr9 translocation and to identify the translocation breakpoint. We likewise cloned Lr58, which was reportedly introgressed from Aegilops triuncialis 3, but has an identical coding sequence compared to Lr9. Cytogenetic and haplotype analyses corroborate that the two genes originate from the same translocation event. Our work sheds light on the emerging role of kinase fusion proteins in wheat disease resistance, expanding the repertoire of disease-resistance genes for breeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-920
Number of pages7
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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