Plant Protection
 
Wheat Fungus Management
Wheat Stem Rust

Fungus:
Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici

Symptoms:
Pustules (containing masses of urediospores) are dark reddish brown, and may occur on both sides of the leaves, on the stems, and on the spikes. With light infections the pustules are usually separate and scattered, but with heavy infections they may coalesce. Prior to pustule formation, "flecks" may appear. Before the spore masses break through the epidermis, the infection sites feel rough to the touch; as the spore masses break through, the surface tissues take on a ragged and torn appearance.

Development:
Primary infections are usually light and develop from wind-borne urediospores that may have travelled long distances. The disease can develop rapidly when free moisture (rain or dew) and moderate temperatures prevail. If temperatures average about 20C or more, the first generation of urediospores will be produced in 10-15 days. As plants mature, masses of black teliospores may be produced.

Hosts/Distribution:
Stem rust can affect wheat, barley, triticale, and many other related grasses; it is found wherever temperate cereals are grown. The alternate hosts are Berberis and Mahonia spp.

Chemical Control:
Fungicides that inhibit the synthesis of sterols [i.e., sterol biosynthesis inhibitors (SBIs) or demethylation inhibitors (DMIs)] are particularly effective.

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