TABLE 3.1 Wheat Yield Losses Due to Stem, Leaf, and Stripe Rust in United States, 1995-1998

   

Yield loss, % of harvested bushels

   

Common

Year

Disease

Winter

Spring

Durum

1995

Stem Rust

0.01

0.01

0.0

 

Leaf Rust

2.36

0.10

0.0

 

Stripe Rust

0.11

0.03

0.0

1996

Stem Rust

0.23

0.00

0.0

 

Leaf Rust

0.78

0.03

0.0

 

Stripe Rust

0.26

0.05

0.0

1997

Stem Rust

0.00

0.02

0.0

 

Leaf Rust

2.85

1.10

0.0

 

Stripe Rust

0.07

0.04

0.0

1998

Stem Rust

0.09

0.03

0.0

 

Leaf Rust

1.60

0.83

0.0

 

Stripe Rust

0.27

0.17

0.0

Average, 1995-1998

Stem Rust

0.08

0.01

0.0

 

Leaf Rust

1.90

0.52

0.0

 

Stripe Rust

0.18

0.07

0.0

Source: USDA (1999g).

ics of the host but also the genetics of the pathogen must be considered. Both are subject to change—the pathogen by mutation and sexual hybridization, the host by plant breeding. Because of changes in the pathogen, protective genes in the host are overcome by new virulence genes in the pathogen.

Kilpatrick (1975) used an international testing program to estimate that the average lifetime of a gene for protection from leaf, stem, or stripe rust was 5-6 years. The rapid loss of genetic pest-protection due to new virulence genes led researchers to look for new protective genes and for durable resistance (for example, Line 1995). R. Johnson (1984) has defined durable resistance as the “resistance that remains effective during prolonged and widespread use in an environment favorable to the disease.” Considering the definition, genes for durable resistance are identified only after they have been deployed in widely grown cultivars.

New genes for pest-protection are constantly being searched for in wheat and its wild relatives, and plant breeders try to create new combi-



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