Same yellow rust pathogen attacking wheat since ’13

Parveen Arora
Tribune News Service
Karnal, February 17

Wheat crop in the region is being attacked by the same yellow rust pathogen race for the past six years. This race appeared for the first time in November-December 2013.

Blamed for 50% cases

  • Scientists of Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research have identified this race as ‘110S119’

  • Almost 50 per cent of the yellow rust cases in the region, including Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu region, have been caused by it

Scientists of the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) have identified this race as ‘110S119’. It has been covering almost 50 per cent of the yellow rust cases in the region including Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and the Jammu area of Jammu and Kashmir.

The scientists of IIWBR, Karnal, are working to develop varieties which will be resistant to this yellow rust pathogen race.

They have already developed some varieties, including DBW-222 and DBW-187, in the past couple of years to overcome the attack by this particular pathogen race.

The scientists of IIWBR, Karnal, collect samples of yellow rust from the field and send them to their regional station in Flowerdale in Shimla that monitors the racial situation in the wheat crop.

In the study about the finding of yellow rust pathogen races, the scientists found that yellow rust pathogen ‘110S119’ is attacking the most, followed by 46S119 and 110S84.

“Now, we are using the predominant race prevailing in the North West Plane Zone in our screening and breeding programme to develop resistant varieties to this race,” said Dr Sudheer Kumar, Principal Scientist of IIWBR.

He said, “We collect the samples and send those to the Shimla institute to determine which race has attacked the wheat crop.”

In the current year, yellow rust has been reported in patches in three districts Ambala, Yamunanagar and Karnal.

About the occurrence of yellow rust, he maintained that its occurrence and spread depend on the weather. Cold and humid climatic conditions are conducive for it.

“As soon as the temperature rises, it starts occurring. The yellowing of leaf is not yellow rust. Sometimes, it is observed that there are reports of yellow rust, but when verified, these are found to be false.

“Generally in those cases, the yellowing of leaves is due to water stagnation in the field.

“The farmers must increase their vigil when they observe cold and humid weather. On witnessing the yellowing of leaves, they should approach experts from state Agriculture Department or IIWBR,” he said.

When you touch a yellowed leaf, powder should appear on your finger. That confirms yellow rust. Once confirmed, farmers must spray propiconazole in the field, he said.

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