Puccinia spp. on wheat

Puccinia spp. (stem rust of wheat and other cereals): this fungal disease is indigenous in many parts of Europe and it is rare for serious epidemics to occur, probably because generally lower temperatures limiting the number of cycles the pathogen can achieve in a season. However, the predictions for climate change render this organism a potential emerging threat to European wheat production: in fact, in 2013, stem rust reached epidemic levels in Germany causing significant losses. While major efforts are ongoing in many parts of the world to breed resistant varieties, European elite material is rarely screened against this organism, and potentially popular varieties could be at risk. EMPHASIS early action on detection within WP2 (sentinel crops) and identification of resistance sources within WP3 provide the mechanism for avoiding significant impacts on production potential.

Management approach

For Biological monitoring: Early detection of wind-borne pathogens through extensive sentinel plots. Early detection of wind-borne pathogens through extensive sentinel plots.

For Host-plant resistance: Identifying novel resistance sources or screening of available sources for their introduction in commercial varieties.

Solution proposed by EMPHASIS

For Biological monitoring: An early detector network of sentinel plot locations appropriate for monitoring infection potential of target pathogens (PU) for Increased understanding of disease cycle and Potential identification of BCA’s

For Host-plant resistance: Feasibility study for introducing resistance to stem rust into EU wheat material (PU) giving Knowledge about the feasibility of introducing resistance into wheat material IPM protocols

Contact person/organisation

Jane Thomas (NIAB)