During the 2000 to 2001 season, 27 stem rust samples were collected from wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), and triticale (× Triticosecale) cultivars and lines in the Western Cape, South Africa. Following inoculation and multiplication on McNair 701 seedlings, 40 single pustule isolates of P. graminis f. sp. tritici were established. Twenty-six isolates obtained from wheat, barley, or triticale that produced a similar reaction pattern on a set of differentiating host lines, were designated as pathotype Pgt-2SA55. Pgt-2SA55 is avirulent to Sr5, -6, -7b, -8b, -9b, -9e, -9g, -23, -24, -27, -30, -38, and -Gt, and virulent to Sr11, and -Agi. The remaining 14 isolates, all from wheat and designated as pathotype Pgt-2SA88, were avirulent to Sr24, -27, and -Agi, and virulent to Sr5, -6, -7b, -8b, -9b, -9e, -9g, -11, -23, -30, -38, and -Gt. On an expanded differential set, representative isolates of each pathotype were all avirulent to Sr13, -15, -21, -22, -25, -26, -29, -31, -32, -33, -35, -39, -43, and -Em, and virulent to Sr7a, -8a, -9a, -9d, -9f, -10, -12, -14, -16, -19, -20, -34, and Lc. Pgt-2SA55 was avirulent on cv. Renown (Sr2, -7b, -9d, and -17), whereas Pgt-2SA88 was virulent on this cultivar and Line R Sel carrying only Sr17. Both pathotypes differ from those identified previously in South Africa (1) and to our knowledge, Pgt-2SA88 is the first local isolate to have virulence towards Sr8b and the T. ventricosum-derived gene Sr38. Virulence to Sr38 has been reported in a P. graminis f. sp. tritici isolate collected in Uganda (2). Pathotype Pgt-2SA88 is virulent to seedlings of the previously resistant South African cvs. SST 57 (heterogeneous), Tugela, Tugela DN, and PAN 3377. Furthermore, 20% of the elite breeding lines in the spring and winter wheat breeding program of the Small Grain Institute expressed susceptible seedling reactions to Pgt-2SA88. Triticale cvs. Rex and Kiewiet were heterogeneous in their seedling reaction towards Pgt-2SA55. Seedling and field reactions recorded for the barley cvs. Sterling and SSG 532 and the experimental varieties Puma and Jaguar, showed an increase in stem rust susceptibility to Pgt-2SA55 when compared with existing South African pathotypes. The higher incidence of stem rust in commercial fields and experimental plots of wheat and barley in the Western Cape may be attributed to a recent increase in the cultivation of stem rust-susceptible cultivars in the region. The detection of two new pathotypes of P. graminis f. sp. tritici is of concern to the local small grain industry and requires continued resistance breeding.
First Report of Virulence in Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici to Wheat Stem Rust Resistance Genes Sr8b and Sr38 in South Africa