Monitoring for wheat blast and rust pathogens in different agro-ecological zones of Punjab, Pakistan
Under changing climatic conditions, the emergence of new diseases or new races of existing diseases is a serious threat to global wheat production. Particularly, the presence of wheat blast in Bangladesh and stem rust race Ug99 in Iran, created a fearsome and intractable situation for Pakistan. A study was planned for monitoring and surveillance of the wheat blast and rust pathogens in wheat growing districts of Punjab, Pakistan during the cropping season 2016-17 as vigilance program. During the survey, one hundred and seventy one wheat fields of upper and central Punjab region were monitored and two types of Rusts (Leaf Rust & Yellow Rust) were recorded in varying intensity on different varieties of wheat. Out of 171 locations 86 spots were free from both types of rusts i.e. Leaf Rust & Yellow Rust, while the remaining locations were found to be infected with both leaf and yellow rust. However, all the surveyed fields were free from the stem rust infestation. Among the infected fields, 23 were infected by Leaf Rust while 63 fields were infected by Yellow Rust.The susceptible type of rust attack was noticed on old/ banned/ unapproved wheat varieties. Moderately resistant to resistant reaction was observed on newly approved varieties. The rust infected samples having S or MS type infection were collected for race analysis. Similarly, blast suspected samples were analyzed in laboratory and none of the tested samples showed the presence of wheat blast pathogen, which indicates no need to panic but vigilant in future.