Research - (2023) Volume 13, Issue 2

Examining Ethiopian bread wheat genotypes for the novel sources of resistance to strip rust (Puccinia striformis f.sp.Tritici)

A. Ayele*, G. Muche, D. Kassa and T. Negash
*Correspondence: A. Ayele, Kulumsa Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P.O. Box. 489 Asella, Ethiopia, Email:

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Stripe rust of wheat (yellow rust) is a regular production restraint in the majority of wheat growing areas of the world embracing Ethiopia. The trans boundary nature of the pathogen linked with its current virulence capabilities, favorable environmental conditions, continuous cultivation of susceptible varieties in stripe rust hot spot areas, and genetic uniformity of certain recently released ‘mega-cultivars’ were major driving forces in stripe rust epidemics worldwide including Ethiopia. Utilization of host plant resistance is the best and prosperous option to alleviate this epidemic rust disease, the most sustainable and profitable strategy to meet the needs of farmers and consumers. Thus, the present study was performed with aim of searching novel sources of Ethiopian bread wheat genotypes resistance to stripe (yellow) rust. A total of one thousand four (1004) genotypes exhibited 157 local cross, 663 CIMMYT introductions, 173 ICARDA sources and 11 commercial cultivars were screened for the resistance to yellow rust at both Bekoji and Meraro experimental sites which are yellow rust prone areas of Ethiopia. Out of 1004 tested materials only 5.5% genotypes exhibited 1.2%, 0.7% and 3.6%, local cross, ICARDA and CIMMYT introductions performed best resistance to yellow rust respectively at both Bekoji and Meraro testing sites.


Bread wheat, Genotypes, Cultivars, Spreader rows, Yellow rust, Severity.


Wheat is the most important strategic and food security cereal crop in Ethiopia, ranks 3rd in the area coverage after teff (Eragrostis tef) and maize and 2nd in volume of production next to maize. It is cultivated on a total area of 2.1 million hectares annually with a total production of 6.7 million tons (Tadesse, W., et al., 2003). The national average yield is 3.1 t ha−1 rain fed and 4t ha−1 irrigated which is below the average of 3.5 tha-1 world yield production and potential yield of 7 and 8 t ha−1 under rain fed and irrigated conditions respectively (Ulrik, G., et al., 2021; CSA, 2021). This low productivity is attributed to several scenarios of climate change, evolution of new virulent pathogen races, increased intensity of weeds and insect pests, increasing of soli acidity and salinity, increment of fertilizers cost and demand of biofuels and slow rate of adoption to new agricultural technologies (Dixon, J., et al., 2009).

Yellow rust is repeatedly production constraint in potential wheat growing areas of world. Regarding to rust epidemiology, Ethiopia and Yemen form ecological unit in playing important role in inoculum spread and evolving of new virulence pathotypes across Central and West Asia and North Africa (Badebo, A., et al., 1992). It is dynamic in nature and a serious problem to wheat production in all cropping season due to favorable climatic conditions, continuous planting of susceptible cultivars in hotspot areas of yellow rust and genetic uniformity of current cultivating mega cultivars favoring chance of evolving new virulent races in Ethiopia (Solh, M., et al., 2012).

Extensive surveys revealed that wheat rusts (stem and yellow) caused, 10s of millions of USD annually in in the country. This is due to evolution of new virulent strains which are cold tolerant stem rust races and warm temperature adapted yellow rust races. The rapid emergence of virulent races of PSt11 and PSt16 have overcome most of currently released cultivars and known stripe rust resistant genes of wheat in Ethiopia (Nazari, K., et al., 2008). To date, for the past five decades more than 88 bread wheat varieties of local cross, CIMMYT and ICARDA origin have been released with continuous progress in yield, acceptable end use qualities and improving disease resistance but, less than 20 varieties cover country’s wheat growing areas and unfortunately most of mega cultivars are becoming out of production due to recurrent rust epidemics. Thus, taking into account on periodic outbreaks of rust epidemics and economic invasion, continuous work needs in adequate monitoring and searching of novel sources of durable resistant wheat genotypes against yellow (stripe) rust. The objective of the study was to identify novel sources of resistance to stripe (yellow) rust among one thousand four (1004) Ethiopian bread wheat genotypes exhibited 157 local cross, 663 CIMMYT introductions, 173 ICARDA sources and 11 commercial cultivars.

Materials and Methods

Description of the study area

The experiment was conducted at kulumsa research center substations of Bekoji and Meraro which is located at 7°32'37"N, 39°15'21"E and 2780 meters and 7°24'27"N, 39°14'56"E and 2990 meters above sea level respectively. Monthly maximum and minimum temperatures of Bekoji and Meraro have 7.9 and 18.6, and 5.7 and 18.1°C with annual rain fall of 102 mm and 1196 mm respectively. Both locations were characterized bimodal receiving extended rainfall and represents yellow rust host spot areas and major wheat production potential agro ecologies of Arsi, Ethiopia.

Planting materials

A total of one thousand four (1004) genotypes exhibited 157 local cross, 663 CIMMYT introductions, 173 ICARDA sources and 11 commercial cultivars were screened for the resistance to yellow rust. The genotypes were tested at preliminary yield trials and observation nurseries for different traits at quarantine site of kulumsa research center which is national wheat research coordinating center of Ethiopia and advanced lines were selected to test at severely affected hot spot areas to yellow rust in field condition.

Experimental design

The trail was implemented with partially replicated design consisted of 1508 entries. The spacing of each entry was planted 0.5 m length with 0.2 m row spacing in single row with 26 blocks which was consisted 58 entries in each blocks. Mixtures of different highly susceptible varieties namely Morocco, PBW343, Kubsa, Digalu and newly susceptible poplar variety Ogolcho were planted in each block as to receive uniform inoculum to the entries. All agronomic and weed management practice were applied as per recommendations for all entries.

Disease assessment

Disease assessment was performed three times at Bekoji and Meraro experimental sites at fourteen day’s interval, started when susceptible spreader row morocco reached 40 percent yellow rust severity according to modified Cobb scale (8). Response of wheat genotypes were assessed through final rust severity (FRS) and coefficient of infection (CI). The host plant response to infection was scored according to Roelfs, A.P., et al., (1992), and average coefficient of infection (CI) was calculated by multiplying the percentage severity and the constant value assigned to each reaction type (Saari, EE., et al., 1974). The constant values were considered as Immune=0, R=0.2, R-MR=0.3, MR=0.4, MRMS=0.6, MS=0.8, MSS=0.9 and S=1.

Results and Discussion

Among one thousand four (1004) tested genotypes 993 and 11 were advanced bread wheat lines and released commercial cultivars respectively. Thus, genotypes exhibited, 157 local cross, 663 CIMMYT introductions and 173 ICARDA sources were screened for the resistance to yellow rust at Bekoji and Meraro which are nationally yellow rust prone areas. The final yellow rust severity and response of genotypes were presented in Fig. 1. Fortunately, the season was conducive to yellow rust disease epidemics result revealed, various field reactions ranging from immune to susceptible(s) response were assessed at both experimental sites. From 1004 tested advanced genotypes 2.2%, 7%, 31.4%, 8.5%, 13.5% and 37.4% showed immune, moderately resistant, intermediate reaction, moderately susceptible, moderately susceptible to susceptible, and susceptible diseases reaction and none of the tested genotypes showed resistant and resistant to moderately resistant disease reaction at Bekoji whereas, 1.6%, 1.9%, 8.5%, 8.1%, 11.7%, 7.7% and 60.5% of the 1004 screened genotypes showed immune, resistant to moderately resistant, moderately resistant, intermediate reaction, moderately susceptible, moderately susceptible to susceptible and susceptible disease reaction and none of the tested genotypes showed resistant response respectively at Meraro experimental site (Fig. 1).


Fig 1. Response of bread wheat genotypes to yellow rust at Bekoji and Meraro in 2022.

Despite highest yellow rust epidemics at Bekoji and Meraro 55 genotypes selected which 50 of them exhibiting final rust severities ranging from 5 to 20% with compatible RMR and MR disease reaction, are great importance to attain current breeding for long-lasting resistance (Parlevliet, JE., 1988), whereas five genotypes showed immune type response with zero disease severity (Table 1). On the other hand sixty two genotypes were also selected which showed intermediate response to yellow rust at both locations (Table 2).

Genotypes Meraro Bekoji Genotypes Meraro Bekoji
  Sev (%) Rxn Sev (%) rxn   Sev (%) rxn Sev (%) Rxn
EBW160002 10 MR 5 MR EBW202479 20 MR 20 MR
EBW160009 5 MR 5 MR EBW202610 0 0 0 0
EBW160017 10 MR 5 MR EBW204020 10 MR 5 RMR
EBW160037 20 MR 10 MR EBW204023 0 0 0 0
EBW160038 0 0 20 MR EBW212106 5 MR 5 MR
EBW160056 5 MR 5 MR EBW212229 20 MR 5 RMR
EBW160058 20 MR 10 MR EBW212274 5 MR 10 MR
EBW160063 0 0 5 RMR EBW212275 5 MR 0 0
EBW160065 5 MR 10 MR EBW212318 5 MR 10 MR
EBW160066 5 MR 5 MR EBW212354 5 MR 5 MR
EBW160067 20 MR 0 0 EBW212371 0 0 0 0
EBW160118 0 0 5 MR EBW212448 5 MR 5 RMR
EBW182463 0 0 5 RMR EBW212570 0 0 0 0
EBW192154 0 0 5 MR EBW212571 0 0 5 MR
EBW192255 5 MR 10 RMR EBW212572 0 0 0 0
EBW192345 5 MR 5 RMR EBW212573 5 MR 5 MR
EBW192347 5 MR 5 RMR EBW212574 10 MR 0 0
EBW192800 5 MR 5 MR EBW212575 0 0 0 0
EBW202005 5 MR 10 MR EBW212576 5 MR 0 0
EBW202056 5 MR 10 RMR EBW212577 0 0 0 0
EBW202211 5 MR 10 MR EBW212578 10 MR 0 0
EBW202213 20 MR 20 MR EBW212789 5 MR 10 MR
EBW202216 5 MR 5 RMR EBW213196 0 0 5 MR
EBW202245 10 MR 10 MR EBW214009 5 MR 5 MR
EBW202370 10 MR 5 MR EBW214029 0 0 5 MR
EBW202379 0 0 0 0 EBW214031 5 MR 20 MR
EBW202471 5 MR 10 RMR EBW214162 5 MR 5 MR
EBW202473 10 MR 5 RMR          

Table 1. Response of selected to 55 wheat genotypes showed best sources of resistance to yellow rust at in 2022.

Genotypes Sev Rexn Sev rxn Genotypes sev Rexn sev Rxn
EBW160001 20 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW202508 20 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW160015 30 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW202518 20 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW160113 10 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW202519 30 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW160122 30 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW204066 20 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW192156 5 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212096 30 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW192387 30 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212178 30 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW193027 30 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212245 10 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW193155 20 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212248 30 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202033 10 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212251 30 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202034 30 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212252 20 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202066 30 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212253 10 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202084 30 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212266 5 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202101 20 MRMS 40 MRMS EBW212284 30 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW202127 20 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212301 20 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW202130 5 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212323 30 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202156 10 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212389 30 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202172 30 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212424 20 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202185 30 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212516 30 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202207 30 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212518 30 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW202217 20 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212616 20 MRMS 10 MRMS
EBW202252 30 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212664 20 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202253 20 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212723 5 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202257 5 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212724 20 MRMS 10 MRMS
EBW202267 20 MRMS 10 MRMS EBW212746 30 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202362 10 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212778 10 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202401 40 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW212779 20 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202414 30 MRMS 30 MRMS EBW212984 5 MRMS 5 MRMS
EBW202429 20 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW213037 30 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW202434 30 MRMS 10 MRMS EBW213072 20 MRMS 20 MRMS
EBW202436 20 MRMS 5 MRMS EBW214064 30 MRMS 30 MRMS
EBW202488 30 MRMS 20 MRMS EBW223021 30 MRMS 20 MRMS

Table 2. Wheat genotypes showed intermediate resistance to yellow rust at Bekoji and Meraro.

The available resistant genes in these selected genotypes overcome yellow rust virulence in the field and led to statistically low yellow rust severities in spite of well-suited host pathogen reactions (Nzuve, FM, et al.,). According to van der Plank’s (1968) and Robinson’s (1979) attempts, Horizontal, uniform, race-non-specific or stable resistance can be distinguished from vertical, differential, race-specific or unstable resistance by a test in which a number of host genotypes are tested against a number of pathogen genotypes. Horizontal resistance should be built up in crops as a primary objective and as the foundation of disease management, with vertical plant pathology resistance being added as necessary, along with cultural control measures and targeted use of pesticides, as part of an IPM strategy. So Van der Plank's test for horizontal resistance appears to be a simple and sound way to test for polygenic inheritance of resistance (Parlevliet, JE., 1976) (Tables 1-3).

  Bekoji Meraro
Variety Yr Severity Disease reaction Yr Severity Disease reaction
Alidoro 60 S 60 S
Balcha 10 MR 10 MR
Boru 40 MSS 50 MS
Daka 30 MRMS 60 MSS
Danda'a 40 MRMS 40 MSS
Hidase 60 S 70 S
King bird 60 S 80 S
Ogolcho 70 S 70 S
Pavon-76 60 S 80 S
PBW343 80 S 90 S

Table 3. Response of check varieties to yellow rust at both locations.


Forecasting of upcoming transformations and developing an operational research tactics with use of new breeding tackles, needs a corresponding strength in creating communication net-works and teamwork’s. Timely monitoring and information exchange between stake holders, creating new capacities and skills in ministries and extension services to develop effective management tactics, and continued research in searching of durable resistant genotypes to virulent races, planning to rapidly deliver appropriate improved seeds and fungicides to halt spread of wheat rust should be strategies to address the current existing problems of wheat rust disease management. Out of 1004 tested genotypes only 5.5% genotypes exhibited 1.2%, 0.7% and 3.6% exhibiting having RMR and MR field response, local cross, ICARDA and CIMMYT introductions performed best and selected to yellow rust resistance respectively, While 6.2% identified genotypes also showed intermediate (MRMS) field response, could be suggested to for further breeding purpose.


Accelerating Genetic Gain in wheat and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), projects are genuinely acknowledged for technical and financial support of the Experiment. Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research is recognized for accommodating the field research. The all-round provision by the wheat research team of kulumsa Agricultural research Center of Ethiopia is greatly valued.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Author Info

A. Ayele*, G. Muche, D. Kassa and T. Negash
Kulumsa Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P.O. Box. 489 Asella, Ethiopia

Citation: Ayele, A., Muche, G., Kassa, D., Negash, T. (2023). Examining Ethiopian bread wheat genotypes for the novel sources of resistance to strip rust (Puccinia striformis f.sp.Tritici). Ukrainian Journal of Ecology. 13:44-49.

Received: 21-Feb-2023, Manuscript No. UJE-23-89827; , Pre QC No. P-89827; Editor assigned: 23-Feb-2023, Pre QC No. P-89827; Reviewed: 08-Mar-2023, QC No. Q-89827; Revised: 14-Mar-2023, Manuscript No. R-89827; Published: 21-Mar-2023, DOI: 10.15421/2023_429

Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.