Yield loss due to stem rust in wheat varieties with different types of resistance
Notwithstanding the re-emergence and importance of wheat stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), the degree of protection provided by different types of resistance has not been carefully investigated in contemporary studies. Seven wheat entries were exposed to stem rust infection and fungicide response in a split-plot field experiment over two seasons. Severe epidemics of Pgt race PTKST, generated by frequent inoculation of spreader rows within and around the trial, developed in both years. By comparing grain yield in rusted and fungicide sprayed plots, varieties SC Nduna (Sr31) and SC Stallion (Sr2+Sr31) sustained mean yield losses of 28.8% and 20.7%, respectively. From entries with adult plant resistance (APR), Kingbird recorded a loss of 10.1% as compared to W1406 (19.5%) and W6979 (15.4%). Grain yield of SC Sky which exhibits all stage resistance (ASR) was reduced by 6.4% over the two seasons. The highest yield loss (47.9%) was measured for Line 37, the susceptible control. A significant linear relationship occurred between percentage yield loss and AUDPC in both seasons (R2=0.99 and 0.83). This study showed that not all sources of APR to stem rust provided the same level of protection under severe disease pressure. In the absence of virulence for SC Sky, ASR conferred the most protection.