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Emergence of a Novel Population of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in Eastern United States

June 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  6
Pages  632 - 639

S. G. Markell and E. A. Milus

First author: Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58105-5012; and second author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701.

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Accepted for publication 31 January 2008.

The geographic range of stripe rust of wheat, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, has increased dramatically since 2000 in the United States. Yield losses to the disease have been most severe in the eastern United States, where measurable yield loss had been rare prior to 2000. The objective of this study was to examine the phenotypic and genotypic variation among isolates of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici collected from populations in the eastern United States before and since 2000. Virulence phenotype and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers were used to examine 42 isolates collected between 1960 and 2004. In addition, the genetic structure of 59 isolates collected in 2005 using a hierarchical sampling strategy was examined. The data indicated that the contemporary isolates (collected since 2000) were very distinct from older isolates (collected before 2000) based on virulence and AFLP markers, and that the old population prevalent before 2000 may have been replaced by the contemporary population. The old and new populations appear to be genetically distinct and may represent an exotic introduction rather than a mutation in isolates of the old population.

Additional keywords:population structure, Triticum aestivum, yellow rust.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society