Samples of wheat and triticale infected with leaf rust were collected from 2008 to 2010 in South Africa to identify Puccinia triticina races. Races were identified based on their virulence profile on standard differential lines. Eight races were identified from 362 isolates. The dominant races were 3SA133 (syn. PDRS) in 2008 (78 %) and 2009 (34 %), and 3SA145 (47 %) in 2010. Race 3SA145 (CCPS) identified in 2009 was a new race in South Africa with virulence for the adult plant resistance gene Lr37. Another new race, 3SA146 (MCDS), was identified in 2010. Race 3SA146 is also virulent for Lr37 but unlike 3SA145, it is virulent for Lr1 and Lr23 and avirulent for Lr3ka and Lr30. Microsatellite analysis showed that 3SA145 and 3SA146 shared 70 % genetic similarity with each other, but only 30 % similarity with other races in South Africa, suggesting that both represent foreign introductions. In seedling tests of 98 South African winter and spring cultivars and advanced breeding lines, 27 % were susceptible to 3SA145 and 3SA146 but resistant to 3SA133. In greenhouse studies of 59 spring wheat adult plants, 19 % of breeding lines and 46 % of cultivars were susceptible to 3SA145, whereas 29 % of the lines and 53 % of cultivars were susceptible to 3SA146. The cssfr6 gene-specific DNA marker confirmed the presence of Lr34 gene for leaf rust resistance in a homozygous condition in 28 wheat entries. Five entries were heterogeneous for Lr34. Several entries which were susceptible as seedlings to the new races carried Lr34. These lines are expected to show lower levels of leaf rust as adult plants. Results of these studies indicate a continued vulnerability of South African wheat cultivars to new races and emphasise the importance of regular rust monitoring and the need to incorporate genes for durable resistance.
- Leaf rust
- Puccinia triticina