Aug 17th, 2012: Latest version of Mehtaensis newsletter published by DWR, Flowerdale, Shimla: Comprehensive, updated information on rusts in India and South Asia

The latest version of the Mehtaensis newsletter (a 6 monthly newsletter named after Prof. K.C. Mehta) has just been published by the DWR, Regional Station, Flowerdale, Shimla. Compiled by Dr. S.C. Bhardwaj, Mehtaensis contains a detailed summary of all the rust activities and race analysis results from India and neighbouring South Asian countries during the period Jan – July 2012. The executive summary is reproduced here:

During 2011-12 crop year, there was scanty rainfall early in the season. Wheat rusts appeared almost one month late than previous year. Except for some localized incidences of yellow rust in northern India, it was comparatively less rust year. Inoculation of aecial stages from Berberis on wheat, barley and oat showed that these were not related. Likewise, rust samples from grasses could not infect wheat, barley however, one sample infected oat. This year 1655 samples of wheat and barley rusts were collected and 1006 were analyzed. Pathotype 46S119 of yellow rust was most predominant followed by 78S84 in northern India. In Nilgiri hills pathotype I(38S102) was common. In Ladhakh pathotype CI, followed by CII and CIII were observed. These pathotypes do not occur anywhere else in India. In Black rust pathotype 40A followed by 40-1 were common in Nilgiri hills. In Ladhakh area, pathotype 34-1 was identified in all the samples. This pathotype is very primitive and does not occur in other parts of India. In brown rust pathotype 77-5 was observed in most of the samples from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. During this year 1625 wheat and barley lines were evaluated at seedling stage against different pathotypes of three rusts. None of the wheat AVT lines showed resistance to all the rusts however, three lines of barley were resistant to three rusts. Ten Lr genes were characterized in 151 lines, 5 Yr genes in 117 and 13 Sr genes in 159 lines. Wheat disease monitoring nurseries was planted at 38 locations distributed in all the wheat growing areas of India. Likewise SAARC nursery was planted in 23 locations in five SAARC nations.”

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