Effects of environment on epidemics of yellow rust (Puccinia striiformis West.) of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Bale highlands, South-Eastern Ethiopia


Wubishet Alemu T Chemeda Fininsa G Bekele Hundie E

Bread wheat is one of the most important cereal crops cultivated in south-eastern Ethiopia. However, the regional wheat production is threatened by yellow rust, which is caused by Puccinia striiformis f.sp. tritici. A field experiment was conducted to assess the effects of environment on wheat yellow rust epidemics and wheat varieties’ yellow rust resistance at three locations in 2012. Six bread wheat varieties having different levels of resistance to yellow rust were used. Plots were arranged in randomized complete block design in three replications. Yellow rust incidence was significantly different among the highly susceptible variety Kubsa, the resistant and moderately resistant varieties at all locations. There was significant difference (p≤ 0.05) in the overall mean of yellow rust severity among the varieties. Yellow rust severity of up to 16.7, 41.9 and 55.5% was recorded on the susceptible variety Kubsa at Agarfa, Ginir and Sinana, respectively. Area under disease progress curve values and disease progress rate exhibited significant difference between the susceptible and resistant varieties. Environmental variability had a significant effect on epidemic development of yellow rust through its effect on growth and progress rate of the pathogen. Yellow rust has now extended its adaptation to lower and warmer altitudes where it did not exist before.


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