Skip to main content

Global status of stripe rust: a review of historical and current threats

Abstract

Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis, has been an important disease of wheat, barley, rye, triticale and certain graminaceous hosts for centuries. The significance of the disease on cultivated cereals has waxed and waned according to the vagaries of climate, inoculum levels and susceptible varieties. A progressive understanding of pathogen biology has revealed levels of specialisation between and within host groups, and these had varying impacts on the hosts concerned. The most economically important form is P. striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), the causal pathogen of stripe (yellow) rust of wheat, which is the major focus of this paper. The recent discovery of the perfect stage of Pst on Berberis spp. will encourage further work to uncover the potential importance of the sexual stage in pathogen biology in regions where Berberis spp. occur. A review of the evolution of pathotypes within Pst over the past 50 years reveals recurrent pandemics emanating from a combination of specific virulence in the pathogen population, wide scale cultivation of genetically similar varieties, and agronomic practices that led to high yield potential. When these factors operate in concert, regional stripe rust epidemics have proven to be dramatic, extensive and serious in terms of the magnitude of losses and the economic hardships endured. A review of these epidemics suggests that little progress has been made in containing the worst effects of epidemics. The current status of stripe rust was gauged from a survey of 25 pathologists and breeders directly associated with the disease. It was evident that Pst remains a significant threat in the majority of wheat growing regions of the world with potential to inflict regular regional crop losses ranging from 0.1 to 5%, with rare events giving losses of 5–25%. Regions with current vulnerability include the USA (particularly Pacific North West), East Asia (China north-west and south-west), South Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand), East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya), the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) and Western Europe (east England). The resources deployed to contain the worst effects of Pst will need to find a balance between training a new generation of breeders and pathologists in host-pathogen genetics, and an investment in infrastructure in IARCs and NARs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Abbasi M, Hedjaroude GhA, Scholler M, Goodwin SB (2004) Taxonomy of Puccinia striiformis in Iran. Rostaniha 5:71–82

    Google Scholar 

  2. Abdallah O, Nazari K, Clarke E (2010) ICARDA calls for action to tackle wheat stripe rust threat to Middle East breadbasket. ICARDA media release. http://icardablog.wordpress.com

  3. Bayles RA, Channell MH, Stigwood P (1989) Yellow rust of wheat. UK Pathogen Virulence Survey, 1989 Annual Report, pp 11–17

  4. Beresford RM (1982) Stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis), a new disease of wheat in New Zealand. Cereal Rusts Bull 10:35–41

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bever WM (1937) Influence of stripe rust on growth, water economy and yield of wheat and barley. J Agric Sci 1:4–48

    Google Scholar 

  6. Biffen RH (1931) The cereal rusts and their control. Trans British Mycol Soc 16:19–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Boshoff WHP, Pretorius Z, van Niekerk BD (2002) Establishment, distribution, and pathogenicity of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in South Africa. Plant Dis 86:485–492

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Boyd LA (2005) Can Robigus defeat an old enemy?—yellow rust of wheat. J Agr Sci 143:233–243

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Brown WM, Hill JP, Velasco VR (2001) Barley yellow rust in North America. Annu Rev Phytopathol 39:367–384

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Chen XM (2005) Epidemiology and control of stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) on wheat. Can J Plant Pathol 27:314–337

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Chen XM (2007) Challenges and solutions for stripe rust control in the United States. Aust J Agric Res 58:648–655

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Chen XM, Moore M, Milus EA, Long DL, Line RF, Marshall D, Jackson L (2002) Wheat stripe rust epidemics and races of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in the United States in 2000. Plant Dis 86:39–46

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Chen WQ, Wu LR, Liu TG, Xu SC (2009) Race dynamics, diversity and virulence evolution in Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, the causal agent of wheat stripe rust in China from 2003 to 2007. Plant Dis 93:1093–1101

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Chester KS (1946) The nature and prevention of the cereal rusts as exemplified in the leaf rust of wheat. Chronica Botanica, 269 pp

  15. Cromey MG (1989) Occurrence and effects of stripe rust in wheat spikes in New Zealand. NZ J Crop and Hort Sci 17:155–158

    Google Scholar 

  16. Duan X, Tellier A, Wan A, Leconte M, de Vallavielle-Pope C, Enjalbert J (2010) Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici presents high diversity and recombination in the oversummering zone of Gansu, China. Mycologia 102:44–53

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Dubin HJ, Stubbs RW (1986) Epidemic spread of barley stripe rust in South America. Plant Dis 70:141–144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Duveiller E, Singh RP, Nicol JM (2007) The challenges of maintaining wheat productivity: pests, diseases, and potential epidemics. Euphytica 157:417–430

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Enjalbert J (2009) Clonality and recombination footprints in wheat yellow rust genetic structure. In: 12th international seven cereal rusts and powdery mildews conference, 13–15 October, Antalya, Turkey, Abstract p 49

  20. Gassner G, Straib W (1932) Die Bestimmung der biologischen Rassen des Weizengelbrostes (Puccinia glumarum f. sp. tritici (Schmidt) Eriks. And Henn.). Arb Biol Reichsanst land Forlswirtsch 20:141–163

    Google Scholar 

  21. German S, Barcellos A, Chaves M, Kohli M, Campos P, de Viedma L (2007) The situation of common wheat rusts in the Southern Cone of America and perspectives for control. Aust J Agric Sci 58:620–630

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Hovmoller MS, Justesen AF, Brown JKM (2002) Clonality and long distance migration of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in north-west Europe. Plant Pathol 51:24–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Hovmoller MS, Yahyaoui AH, Miles EA, Justesen AF (2008) Rapid global spread of two aggressive strains of a wheat rust fungus. Mol Ecology 17:3818–3826

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Jin Y (2010) Role of Berberis spp. as alternate hosts in generating new races of Puccinia graminis and P. striiformis. Euphytica doi:10.1007/s10681-010-0328-3

  25. Jin Y, Szabo LJ, Carson M (2010) Century-old mystery of Puccinia striiformis life history solved with the identification of Berberis as an alternate host. Phytopathology 100:432–435

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Johnson R (1992) Reflections of a plant pathologist on breeding for disease resistance, with emphasis on yellow rust and eyespot of wheat. Plant Pathol 41:239–254

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Johnson R, Taylor AJ (1972) Isolates of Puccinia striiformis collected in England from the wheat varieties Maris Beacon and Joss Cambier. Nature 238:105–106

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Johnson R, Stubbs RW, Fuchs E, Chamberlain NH (1972) Nomenclature for physiologic races of Puccinia striiformis infecting wheat. Trans Br Myc Soc 58:475–480

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Justesen AF, Ridout CJ, Hovmoller MS (2002) The recent history of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritic in Denmark as revealed by disease incidence and AFLP markers. Plant Pathol 51:13–23

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Keiper FJ, Hayden MJ, Park RF, Wellings CR (2003) Molecular genetic variability of Australian isolates of five cereal rust pathogens. Mycol Res 107:545–556

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Large EC (1940) The Advance of the Fungi. Jonathan Cape, London, p 488

    Google Scholar 

  32. Line RF (2002) Stripe rust of wheat and barley in North America: a retrospective historical review. Annu Rev Phytopahol 40:75–118

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. Liu M, Hambleton S (2010) Taxonomic study of stripe rust, Puccinia striiformis sensu lato, based on molecular and morphological evidence. Fungal Bio 114:881–899

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. Loladze A, Druml T, Wellings CR (2009) Differential adaptation of Australian and New Zealand stripe rust isolates to high temperature. In: 12th international cereal rusts and powdery mildews conference, 13–15 October, Antalya, Turkey, Abstract, p 22

  35. Louwers JM, van Silfhout CH, Stubbs RW (1992) Race analysis in wheat in developing countries. Report 1990–1992. IPO-DLO Report 1992-11, 23 pp

  36. Macer RCF (1972) The resistance of cereals to yellow rust and its exploitation in plant breeding. Proc Royal Soc London 181:281–301

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Manners JG (1960) Puccinia striiformis Westend. var. dactylidis var. nov. Trans Brit Mycol Soc 43:65–68

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Manners JG (1969) Presidential address. The rust diseases of wheat and their control. Trans Brit Mycol Soc 52:177–186

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Marshall D, Sutton RL (1995) Epidemiology of stripe rust virulence of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. hordei and yield loss in barley. Plant Dis 79:732–737

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. McIntosh RA (2009) History and status of the wheat rusts. In: McIntosh RA (ed) Proceedings of the Borlaug global rust initiative 2009 technical workshop BGRI Cd Obregon, Mexico, pp 11–23

  41. McIntosh RA, Wellings CR, Park RF (1995) Wheat rusts: an atlas of resistance genes. CSIRO Publications, Victoria, Australia, p 200

    Google Scholar 

  42. McIntosh RA, Yamazaki Y, Dubcovsky J, TRogers J, Morris C, Somers DJ, Appels R, Devos KM (2008) Catalogue of gene symbols for wheat. In: 11th international wheat genetics symposium, Brisbane http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/GG2/Triticum/events/11IWGS/MacGene2008.20080808/Documents/Catalogue/Catalogue2008.htm

  43. Milus EA, Kristensen K, Hovmoller M (2009) Evidence for increased aggressiveness in a recent widespread strain of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici causing stripe rust of wheat. Phytopathol 99:89–94

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Moghaddam ME, Kamali MRJ, Aghaee M, Afshari F, Roustali M (2009) Status of wheat rusts in Iran. In: McIntosh RA (ed) Proceedings of the Borlaug global rust initiative 2009 technical workshop BGRI Cd Obregon, Mexico pp 155–158

  45. Murray GM, Brennan JP (2009) The current and potential costs from diseases of wheat in Australia. Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation Report, 69 pp (http://www.grdc.com.au)

  46. Murray GM, Ellison PJ, Watson A, Cullis BR (1994) The relationship between wheat yield and stripe rust as affected by length of epidemic and temperature at the grain development stage of crop growth. Plant Pathol 43:397–405

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Prashar M, Bhardwaj SC, Jain SK, Datta D (2007) Pathotypic evolution in Puccinia striiformis in India during 1995–2004. Aust J Agric Res 58:602–604

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Pretorius ZA, Pakendorf KW, Marais GF, Prins R, Komen JS (2007) Challenges for sustainable rust control in South Africa. Aus J Agric Res 58:593–601

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Purdy LH, Allan RE (1963) Seedling and mature plant reaction of wheat to stripe rust. Plant Dis Rep 47:797–799

    Google Scholar 

  50. Rapilly F (1979) Yellow rust epidemiology. Ann Rev Phytopathol 17:59–73

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Robbelen G, Sharp EL (1978) Mode of inheritance, interaction and application of genes conditioning resistance to yellow rust. Paul Parey, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  52. Saari EE, Prescott JM (1985) World distribution in relation to economic losses. In: Roelfs AP, Bushnell WR (eds) The cereal rusts, vol II. Academic Press Inc, Orlando, pp 259–298

    Google Scholar 

  53. Singh RP (2004) The cost to agriculture of recent changes in cereal rusts. Proceedings of the 11th international cereal rusts and powdery mildews conference, 22–27 August 2004, John Innes Center, Norwich UK

  54. Singh RP, William HM, Huerta-Espino J, Rosewarne G (2004) Wheat rust in Asia: meeting the challenges with old and new technologies. In: ‘New directions for a diverse planet’, Proceedings of the 4th international crop science congress, 26 Sep–1 Oct 2004, Brisbane Australia, pp 1–13 (www.cropscience.org.au)

  55. Slovencikova V, Bares I (1978) Epidemic of stripe rust in Czechoslovakia in 1977. Cereal Rusts Bull 6:15–18

    Google Scholar 

  56. Stubbs RW (1985) Stripe rust. In: Roelfs AP, Bushnell WR (eds) The cereal rusts, vol II. Academic Press Inc, Orlando, pp 61–101

    Google Scholar 

  57. Tollenaar H (1967) A comprarison of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. poae on bluegrass with P. striiformis f. sp. tritici and f. sp. dactylidis. Phytopathology 57:418–420

    Google Scholar 

  58. Vallega V, Zitelli G (1979) Epidemics of yellow rust in Italy. Cereal Rusts Bull 6:17–22

    Google Scholar 

  59. Wan A, Zhao Z, Chen X, He Z, Jin S, Jia Q, Yao G, Yang J, Wang B, Li G, Bi Y, Yuan Z (2004) Wheat stripe rust epidemic and virulence of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in China in 2002. Plant Dis 88:896–904

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Wellings CR (2007) Puccinia striiformis in Australia: a review of the incursion, evolution, and adaptation of stripe rust in the period 1979–2006. Aust J Agric Res 58:567–575

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Wellings CR, McIntosh RA (1990) Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in Australasia: pathogenic changes during the first 10 years. Plant Pathol 39:316–325

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Wellings CR, McIntosh RA, Walker J (1987) Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in eastern Australia—possible means of entry and implications for plant quarantine. Plant Pathol 36:239–241

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Wellings CR, McIntosh RA, Hussain M (1988) A new source of resistance to Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in spring wheats (Triticum aestivum). Plant Breeding 100:88–96

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Wellings CR, Burdon JJ, McIntosh RA, Wallwork H, Raman H, Murray GM (2000a) A new variant of Puccinia striiformis causing stripe rust on barley and wild Hordeum species in Australia. Plant Pathol 49:803

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Wellings CR, Read B, Moody D (2000b) Stripe rust affecting barley in Australia—current and potential threats. In: Proceedings of the 8th international barley genetics symposium, Adelaide, Australia, September 2000, vol III, pp 197–199

  66. Wellings CR, Wright DG, Keiper F, Loughman R (2003) First detection of wheat stripe rust in Western Australia: evidence for a foreign incursion. Aust Plant Pathol 32:321–322

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Wellings CR, Singh RP, Yahyaoui A, Nazari K, McIntosh RA (2009) The development and application of near-isogenic lines for monitoring cereal rust pathogens. In: McIntosh RA (ed) Proc Borlaug global rust initiative technical workshop. BGRI Cd Obregon, Mexico, pp 77–87

    Google Scholar 

  68. Yahyaoui AH, Hakim MS, El Naimi M, Rbeiz N (2002) Evolution of physiologic races and virulence of Puccinia striiformis on wheat in Syria and Lebanon. Plant Dis 86:499–504

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Zadoks JC (1961) Yellow rust on wheat. Studies in epidemiology and physiologic specialization. T.Pl.-Zeikten 67:69–256

    Google Scholar 

  70. Zadoks JC (1979) Strategies in combating cereal diseases in Europe, with special reference to yellow rust of wheat. In: Proceedings of the rice blast workshop, Laguna, Philippines, pp 183–198

  71. Zadoks JC, Bouwman JJ (1985) Epidemiology in Europe. In: Roelfs AP, Bushnell WR (eds) The cereal rusts, vol II. Academic Press Inc, Orlando, pp 329–369

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Colleagues gratefully acknowledged for contributing to the survey include: Ayele Badebo, Rosemary Bayles, Wanquan Chen, Xianming Chen, Claude de Vallavielle-Pope, Antonin Dreiseitl, Kerstin Flath, Silvia German, Mogens Hovmoller, Alma Kokmetova, Ricardo Madariaga, Brent McCallum, Zafer Mert, Alexei Morgounov, Kumarse Nazari, Guillermo Ortiz-Ferrara, Maria Pasquini, Mohinder Prashar, Shynbolat Rysaliev, Atef Shahin, Sarala Sharma, Davinder Singh, Ravi Singh, Galina Volkova, and Amor Yahyaoui.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Colin R. Wellings.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wellings, C.R. Global status of stripe rust: a review of historical and current threats. Euphytica 179, 129–141 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-011-0360-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • International status
  • Pathogen variability
  • Puccinia striiformis
  • Yellow rust
  • Wheat