Effect of Stem Rust (Puccinia graminis f.sp.tritici) on Quality of Durum Wheat (Triticum tu gidum) in Ethiopia
Stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici is one of the major biotic constraints of wheat production. The disease may cause substantial quantitative and qualitative yield losses. However, much of the work in Ethiopia on this pathosystem focuses on quantitative yield loss and qualitative losses are often overlooked. Hence the current research was designed with the objectives to evaluate the effect of stem rust on physical and chemical quality of durum wheat and assess the relationships between disease intensity and quality parameters. For this purpose, a factorial field experiment was conducted at Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Centre during main and off seasons of 2016/17. The experiment involved six durum wheat varieties (Denbi, Hitosa, Tob.66, Mukiye, Ude and Mengudo) with different level of resistance to stem rust, and three Tilt spray schedules of Tilt?250 E.C at 7, 14 and 21 days. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design in factorial arrangements with three replications and untreated checks were included for comparison purpose. Results revealed significant variations in disease parameters and crop performance among spray schedules, wheat varieties and their interactions. Stem rust severity was the lowest on moderately susceptible and susceptible varieties treated with the Tilt at 7th day schedule. The highest stem rust severity (46.67%) was recorded on variety Hitosa without Tilt spray. Without Tilt treatment Denbi variety accounts protein content of 15.67% which is a false protein. At 7th day spray schedule this variety showed 12.90 % of grain protein content which is normal. There was a significant positive correlation between grain protein and stem rust severity (0.31**). There was significant negative relationships between terminal stem rust severity and thousand kernel weight, hectolitre weight, seed size and yield during off and main seasons were resulted, respectively.