A NEW STRAIN of the damaging wheat disease stripe rust has been found in Victoria.
Plant pathologists positively identified new strains of stripe rust from samples sent in last year from Horsham, in the Wimmera and Normanville, in the eastern Mallee.
It marks the first time a new stripe rust pathogen has been identified for seven years.
While farmers are not expecting a high disease load this year due to the dry summer and autumn meaning a lack of a green bridge for rust spores to survive on, growers are encouraged to closely monitor for rust this year and send away any suspicious samples.
The new rust pathotype is believed to be the first with resistance to the YR 33 resistance gene which has formed an important part of plant resistance to stripe rust in several widely grown wheat varieties.
The new rust strain was identified through Australian Cereal Rust Control Program researchers at the University of Sydney’s Plant Breeding Institute.
They received the samples as part of the Australian Cereal Rust Survey, a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment.
Dr Grant Hollaway, a Horsham-based senior plant pathologist with Agriculture Victoria said farmers should continue to participate in the rust survey to help detect any changes in rust pathogens.
“Stripe rust found on any variety of wheat should be submitted for pathotype analysis,” Dr Hollaway said.
“Having samples analysed will not only inform individual growers about the stripe rust pathotypes in their crops, which in turn assists with proactive disease management, but analysis enables the broader industry to be on the front foot with potential rust outbreaks and the detection of new pathotype mutations and incursions as soon as they occur.”