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UKCPVS study confirms new yellow rust race on wheat

01 June 2009

The National Institute of Agricultural Botany has verified the presence of a new race of yellow rust on UK winter wheat. 

In 2008 the Fera/HGCA-funded UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS) at NIAB collected two isolates of yellow rust from plants of the Group 1 wheat Solstice.  Tests confirmed the isolates were virulent on seedlings of the variety.

This spring the isolates were tested on adult plants of Solstice and other varieties in the field.  NIAB pathologist Dr Rosemary Bayles confirms that Solstice was subsequently heavily infected by those isolates.

“Two other previously resistant varieties, Ketchum and QPlus, both with Solstice in their pedigrees, suffered moderate to high infection with the same isolates.  Humber and Viscount, varieties with high resistance ratings but different sources of resistance, also showed susceptibility,” warns Dr Bayles.

Oakley, already known to have a degree of susceptibility to existing pathotypes, was also shown to be more susceptible to the new race.  The yellow rust appears to have made a stepwise adaption to the variety’s resistance.

NIAB’s conclusions seem to be confirmed by the continued flow of yellow rust samples arriving for UKCPVS testing.  “It certainly reflects the incidence of the disease across the country this season and concerns over the possible impact of recent changes in the rust population on current varieties,” says Dr Bayles.

For further information contact:
Dr Rosemary Bayles, NIAB
T: 01223 342211
E: rosemary.bayles@niab.com

Dr Jane Thomas, NIAB
T: 01223 342251
E: jane.thomas@niab.com

Issued by:
Ros Lloyd, Front Foot Communications            
T: 01487 831425     
E: ros.lloyd@frontfoot.uk.com