Dec. 20th, 2012: Russian Federation: Important new study on wheat stem rust in the central region of the Russian Federation published

A major new study entitled “The wheat stem rust pathogen in the central region of the Russian Federation” has just been published in the journal Plant Pathology. The study was led by Dr E.S Skolotneva from the Dept of Mycology and Algology, Moscow Lomonsov State University, Russia and gives very valuable information on the race composition of the population of Pgt in the central region of the Russian Federation during the period 2000-2009. A total of 387 isolates of Pgt were analyzed during the study period using North American differential sets (16 genotype set 2000-2006; and 20 genotype set  2007-2009). Samples were obtained from cereals (wheat and barley), grasses (Elytrigia, Agropyron, Festuca, Dactylis, Phleum and Lolium spp.) and barberry. Forty-five races of Pgt were identified as a result of the study. Major changes in race composition were observed over the study period. M-group races, especially race MKBT, pre-dominated during the early years of the study (2000-2002) but thereafter T-group races (race TKNT and race TKNTF) have dominated. After 2005, race diversity fell and only 3 races (TKNTF, TKNTC and TKSTF) were detected in samples collected during 2007-09. It was postulated that  airborne inoculum from the south may have been a possible factor behind the observed changes in race composition, as a similar group of T races have concurrently been detected in Turkey.  The authors considered that the local population of  Pgt was sexual based on the relatively high diversity of races isolated from various hosts and the absence of correlation between  virulence attributes and molecular markers.  No Ug99 race group members were detected in the Russian Federation. Effective resistance genes were Sr11, Sr9b, Sr17, Sr31 and Sr24.

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