- Rust Issues: All 3 rusts are potential constraints.
- Ug99 Status: No Ug99 lineage races have been detected in Lebanon.
Following the confirmed detection of Ug99 (race TTKSK) in Egypt in 2014 (BGRI special newsletter report April 2015) increased vigilance is needed for stem rust in the eastern Mediterranean. Although no confirmed reports of race TTKSK have been obtained from Egypt in 2015, trace amounts of stem rust (race unknown) were detected in the central delta of Egypt in early March 2015. No further reports of stem rust outbreaks have been reported from Egypt in 2015. Crops in Egypt are now approaching maturity, with harvesting occurring between mid April to mid May. However, if any stem rust inoculum were to build up in Egypt then spore deposition models run jointly by the UK Met Office and Cambridge University indicate that there is a risk of onward movement of spores to the eastern Mediterranean basin. Model results show consistent seasonal deposition patterns over the last 12 years, indicating a higher risk, relative to other areas, of spore deposition for Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, eastern Syria and southern Turkey. During the months April and May typically there is a large spatial variation of deposition patterns, with long-distance dispersal of spores that reach eastern Mediterranean countries (see Fig 1 – Data from March, April, May 2014 used as an illustrative example of typical spore dispersal patterns). The most recent spore deposition forecast maps for the period 8 – 14 April 2015, based on confirmed sites for Ug99 (race TTKSK) in Egypt in 2014 agree well with the long-term dispersal trends. Increased surveillance and monitoring is advised in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, eastern Syria and southern Turkey. Sampling of any stem rust detected in the eastern Mediterranean and rapid race identity confirmation is recommended (either by race analysis on live samples or through the USDA CDL SNP assay for the Ug99 race group). Please contact Dave Hodson, CIMMYT (email@example.com) for more details on sampling options.
Surveys covering the main wheat growing areas in Lebanon from north to south were undertaken by Rola El Amil of the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) during the period 7-11th May 2013. A total of 24 locations were surveyed with all crops at the dough stage. Stem rust was widespread throughout the survey areas, being recorded at 13 of the 24 locations (54%). High incidence and severity (>40%) of stem rust was recorded at 8 of these locations. Bread wheat, durum wheat and landraces were all observed to be infected with stem rust. Both yellow and leaf rust were uncommon on the survey. Yellow rust was only recorded at 3 locations in the central and southern areas. Leaf rust was recorded at just 2 locations in the far north, close to the Syrian border.
Surveys were undertaken in Azerbaijan (May/June 2010 – 38 fields), Lebanon (May 2010 – 16 fields) and Uzbekistan (May 2010 – 56 fields). In each country, isolated occurrences of stem rust were detected in farmer’s fields. In Lebanon, occurrence of stem rust at 11 of the 16 survey sites was considered slightly unusual. In Azerbaijan, stem rust at two on-farm sites (score 20SMS, 40SMS) on the Caspian Sea was noteworthy. In Uzbekistan, stem rust (score 40MS) was recorded at a single site in the Fergana Valley. In all cases races involved are currently unknown. Increased surveillance effort may be one factor leading to increased detection, but regular future monitoring and confirmation of races involved is considered important.