Yellow rust caused by Puccinia striiformis West. is a harmful and dangerous disease in the south of Russia. Yield losses under optimum conditions on highly susceptible varieties can vary from 10 to 100%. During the growing season of 2017, cool weather with constant precipitation from the third decade of April to the first decade of June contributed to the intensive development of the pathogen. Surveys of the main winter wheat production areas in five agroclimatic zones of the region revealed that yellow rust was prevalent in all areas. The maximum development of P.striiformis was observed in southern submontane and western Priazovsky agroclimatic zones. Some varieties such as Grom, Yuka, Tanya, Anka had losses to yellow rust of up to 30-40 %. In the central and northern agroclimatic zones, the losses averaged 5%, whereas in the dry eastern steppe zone losses were only up to 1%. The build up of yellow rust inoculum in the region raises concerns that in 2018, under favorable weather conditions in spring, winter wheat crops could be infected with the disease, especially in the wetter agroclimatic zones.
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Based on a global network of wheat partners, precision field-based wheat phenotyping platforms are being developed with the support of the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat and co-investing national agricultural research institutes. This collaboration strategy aims to i) strengthen the quality of phenotypic data to fully exploit the potential of genomic data, ii) strategic prioritization of activities based on trait screening capacities and regional needs, iii) sharing knowledge and germplasm to accelerate superior germplasm development and dissemination, iv) development of capacities. Phenotyping activities are being conducted for wheat blast (Magnaporthe oryzae) in Bolivia, Septoria tritici blotch (STB) in durum wheat in Tunisia, and for multiple diseases (leaf rust, Fusarium head blight, and STB) in bread wheats in Uruguay. Subject to further funding, additional platforms will be implemented, to contribute to a faster development of broad genetic based resistant, high yielding wheat varieties, and complementing evaluations currently performed for diseases and heat, drought and yield potential (Kenya, Ethiopia, Turkey, Mexico).
During the 2014/15 main crop season 831 wheat fields and experimental plots were assessed for diseases; 66.2% were in the Oromiya, 20.3% in Tigray and 13.4% in SNNP regions. The major diseases encountered include rusts, septoria leaf blotches, foot and root diseases, Fusarium head blight and smuts. The overall mean prevalence of stem rust was 61%, yellow rust 22%, leaf rust 18.8% and Septoria leaf blotches 52.9%. The incidence of the important diseases was highest in SNNP region. The mean incidence of yellow rust ranged from 5.7% in Oromiya to 39.2% in SNNP. The lowest incidence of stem rust, 15.9%, was noted in Tigray and the highest, 64.4%, in SNNP. The minimum mean Septoria incidence was 23% in Oromiya, and maximum was 66.7% in SNNP. Stem rust severities varied from 7 MR-MSS in Tigray to 36 MR-MSS in SNNP. Furthermore, the widely grown varieties Digelu and Danda’a were resistant to yellow rust, but susceptible to stem rust. Varieties Meda Wolbu, Hogona and Ogolcho were not affected by any of the rusts in Oromiya. Variety Hidase was susceptible in SNNP. Out of 115 Pgt cultures established from stem rust samples collected from the three regions, races TKTTF, RRTTF, TTKSK, TRTTF and JRCQC were identified. Stem rust samples were collected from varieties Digelu, Danda’a, Kakaba, and Hidase. Race TKTTF, virulent on Digalu and first identified in Oromiya region in 2013, is now present in all areas. Adapted varieties with durable stem rust resistance in Ethiopia remains an urgent requirement.