Collections of Puccinia triticina were obtained from rust-infected leaves provided by cooperators throughout the United States and from wheat fields and breeding plots by United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service personnel and cooperators in the Great Plains, Ohio River Valley, southeastern states, and Washington State and Idaho in order to determine the virulence of the wheat leaf rust population in 2012. Single uredinial isolates (501 in total) were derived from the collections and tested for virulence phenotype on 20 lines of ‘Thatcher’ wheat that are near-isogenic for leaf rust resistance genes. In 2012, 74 virulence phenotypes were described in the United States. Virulence phenotypes TNBGJ, TCRKG, and MBTNB were the three most common phenotypes. Phenotype TNBGJ is virulent to Lr39/41 and was widely distributed throughout the hard red winter wheat region of the Great Plains. Phenotype TCRKG is virulent to Lr11, Lr18, and Lr26 and was found mostly in the soft red winter wheat region in the eastern United States. Phenotype MBTNB is virulent to Lr11 and was also found mostly in the soft red winter wheat region. The frequency of isolates with virulence to Lr39/41, which is present in many hard red winter wheat cultivars in the Great Plains region, continued to increase. Isolates with virulence to Lr21, which is present in many hard red spring wheat cultivars, also continued to increase in frequency in the northern Great Plains region.
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