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Wheat stem rust, caused by the fungus Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, afflicts bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). New virulent races collectively referred to as “Ug99” have emerged, which threaten global wheat production. The wheat gene Sr33, introgressed from the wild relative Aegilops tauschii into bread wheat confers resistance to diverse stem rust races, including the Ug99 race group. We cloned Sr33, which encodes a coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat protein. Sr33 is orthologous to the barley (Hordeum vulgare) Mla mildew resistance genes that confer resistance to Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei. The wheat Sr33 gene functions independently of RAR1, SGT1, and HSP90 chaperones. Haplotype analysis from diverse collections of Ae. tauschii placed the origin of Sr33 resistance near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea.