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Stability of Slow-Rusting Resistance to Puccinia asparagi and Managing Rust in Asparagus

July 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  7
Pages  997 - 1,000

Dennis A. Johnson, Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6430

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Accepted for publication 2 February 2012.

The stability of slow-rusting resistance to Puccinia asparagi in several asparagus cultivars was evaluated in two replicated field trials. Rust epidemics were monitored in each trial for 8 years spanning a period of 13 years (1983–1990 and 1987–1995). Inoculum of P. asparagi, an autoecious macrocyclic rust, originated each year as teliospores. In the first trial, the cultivars Jersey Titan, Jersey Centennial, Jersey Giant, Delmonte-361, and UC-157 had consistently lower area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) values than Wash T2 and WSU-1. Cultivar Mary Washington was intermediate between the two groups of resistant and susceptible cultivars in 6 of 8 years. Jersey Titan consistently ranked number 1 for resistance with the lowest AUDPC values all 8 years. In the second trial, Jersey Giant, Delmonte-361, and UC-157 had consistently lower AUDPC values than Larac, Gynlim, Cito, Largo 17-3, and Franklim in each of 8 years. Jersey Giant, Delmonte-361, and UC-157 always ranked low (1, 2, or 3) for AUDPC. A shift from rust-susceptible to rust-resistant asparagus cultivars began in central Washington around 1996. In 2011, resistant cultivars made up nearly 96% of the asparagus plantings. From 1996 to 2011, rust was not considered a problem in commercial fields with slow-rusting resistant cultivars. Use of durable, slow-rusting cultivars, along with sanitation practices that reduced levels of aecia in nonharvested nurseries and on volunteer asparagus plants and judicious irrigation management, has effectively managed asparagus rust in commercial fields for at least 29 years in south-central Washington.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society