Stripe (yellow) rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a serious disease of wheat occurring in most wheat areas with cool and moist weather conditions during the growing season. The basidiomycete fungus is an obligate biotrophic parasite that is difficult to culture on artificial media. Pst is a macrocyclic, heteroecious fungus that requires both primary (wheat or grasses) and alternate (Berberis or Mahonia spp.) host plants to complete its life cycle. Urediniospores have the capacity for wind dispersal over long distances, which may, under high inoculum pressure, extend to thousands of kilometres from the initial infection sites. Stripe rust, which is considered to be the current major rust disease affecting winter cereal production across the world, has been studied intensively for over a century. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the Pst-wheat pathosystem, with emphasis on the life cycle, uredinial infection process, population biology of the pathogen, genes for stripe rust resistance in wheat and molecular perspectives of wheat-Pst interactions.
Taxonomy: The stripe rust pathogen, Puccinia striiformis Westend. (Ps), is classified in kingdom Fungi, phylum Basidiomycota, class Urediniomycetes, order Uredinales, family Pucciniaceae, genus Puccinia. Ps is separated below the species level by host specialization on various grass genera, comprising up to nine formae speciales, of which P. striiformis f. sp. tritici Erikss. (Pst) causes stripe (or yellow) rust on wheat.
Host range: Uredinial/telial hosts: Pst mainly infects common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), durum wheat (T. turgidum var. durum L.), cultivated emmer wheat (T. dicoccum Schrank), wild emmer wheat (T. dicoccoides Korn) and triticale (Triticosecale). Pst can infect certain cultivated barleys (Hordeum vulgare L.) and rye (Secale cereale L.), but generally does not cause severe epidemics. In addition, Pst may infect naturalized and improved pasture grass species, such as Elymus canadensis L., Leymus secalinus Hochst, Agropyron spp. Garetn, Hordeum spp. L., Phalaris spp. L and Bromus unioloides Kunth. Pycnial/aecial (alternative) hosts: Barberry (Berberis chinensis, B. koreana, B. holstii, B. vulgaris, B. shensiana, B. potaninii, B. dolichobotrys, B. heteropoda, etc.) and Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium).
Disease symptoms: Stripe rust appears as a mass of yellow to orange urediniospores erupting from pustules arranged in long, narrow stripes on leaves (usually between veins), leaf sheaths, glumes and awns on susceptible plants. Resistant wheat cultivars are characterized by various infection types from no visual symptoms to small hypersensitive flecks to uredinia surrounded by chlorosis or necrosis with restricted urediniospore production. On seedlings, uredinia produced by the infection of a single urediniospore are not confined by leaf veins, but progressively emerge from the infection site in all directions, potentially covering the entire leaf surface. Individual uredinial pustules are oblong, 0.4-0.7 mm in length and 0.1 mm in width. Urediniospores are broadly ellipsoidal to broadly obovoid, (16-)18-30(-32) × (15-)17-27(-28) μm, with a mean of 24.5 × 21.6 μm, yellow to orange in colour, echinulate, and with 6-18 scattered germ pores. Urediniospores can germinate rapidly when free moisture (rain or dew) occurs on leaf surfaces and when the temperatures range is between 7 and 12 °C. At higher temperatures or during the later growing stages of the host, black telia are often produced, which are pulvinate to oblong, 0.2-0.7 mm in length and 0.1 mm in width. The teliospores are predominantly two-celled, dark brown with thick walls, mostly oblong-clavate, (24-)31-56(-65) × (11-)14-25(-29) μm in length and width, and rounded or flattened at the apex.
Keywords: genes for resistance; infection procedure; life cycle; molecular aspect; population biology.
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