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Population Race Structure of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis Prevalent on Wheat and Noncereal Grasses in the Great Plains

Ali, Shaukat, Francl, Leonard J.
Plant disease 2003 v.87 no.4 pp. 418-422
Agropyron cristatum, Bromus inermis, Echinochloa crus-galli, Elymus repens subsp. repens, Elymus trachycaulus, Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, Thinopyrum intermedium subsp. intermedium, alternative hosts, barley, chlorosis, durum wheat, fungi, genetic variation, genotype, grasses, host range, necrosis, pathogens, plant pathology, races, rye, sand, virulence, Great Plains region
The fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, cause of tan spot of wheat, is an important foliar pathogen worldwide. Genetic variation in the fungal population prevalent in the Great Plains was studied by analysis of 270 single-spore isolates of P. tritici-repentis recovered from wheat, durum, and 10 noncereal grasses: Alti wild rye, barnyard grass, crested wheatgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, needle and thread grass, quackgrass, smooth bromegrass, sand reedgrass, slender wheatgrass, and wild barley. The isolates were grouped into five known races based on necrosis and/or chlorosis induction on standard differentials with two additional wheat genotypes ND495 and M-3. The isolates recovered from wheat were races 1, 2, and 4, while those from durum were races 1 and 5. Isolates from noncereal grasses were all race 4, except for the recovery of two isolates of race 1 from smooth bromegrass. Race 3 was not found in this study. This is the first record of barnyard grass and slender wheatgrass as alternative hosts for P. tritici-repentis. The recovery from noncereal grasses suggests that the fungus has a fairly wide host range; however, predominance of a race that is avirulent on wheat on these grasses tends to eliminate their significance in the disease epidemiology of wheat. The results indicate that P. tritici-repentis has a diverse population on wheat and noncereal grasses. For durable resistance, wheat lines should be tested against all virulent races found in the field.