Patterns of Urediospore Movement and Monitoring Epidemics of Stem Rust (Puccinia graminis f.sp.tritici) on Durum Wheat in Southeastern Ethiopia

  • Kebede Tadesse Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Sinana Agricultural Research Center
  • Bekele Hundie Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Sinana Agricultural Research Center


Stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f.sp.tritici is a significant wheat production constraint in southeastern Ethiopia. Burkard 7-days volumetric spore trap was mounted in a field at Sinana Agricultural
Research Center to examine the seasonal movement of urediospores of P. graminis f.sp.tritici during the cropping seasons of 2001-2006. Disease trap plots were also established to monitor the epidemics of stem rust on durum wheat at three major wheat growing and rust prone districts of Bale highlands viz., Sinana, Agarfa and Herero. Results showed that urediospores exist in the air throughout the year though the concentration considerably varied among the months and seasons, possibly because of the variation in weather condition and cropping time. The highest urediospores catch (613.8 - 2629.7 urediospores per m3 of air) was observed during the months of October/November-January. Number of urediospores per m3 of air was generally low but was rarely reduced to zero during the months of crop free period. Low to moderate levels of stem rust epidemics (not exceeding 30%) were recorded on durum wheat cultivars used for traps. Exceptions were at Sinana in 2001 and at Herero in 2002 and 2005 cropping seasons during which up to 60% stem rust severity levels were recorded. On the other hand, the level of stem rust severity (up to 80%) on some commercial bread wheat varieties included in this study for comparison revealed the development of high disease pressure. Durum wheat cultivars Cocorit 71, Gerardo, DZ 1928-2, DZ-2234 and CD 95759-11M showed resistant reaction to stem rust consistently over locations and years. This points to the existence of a high level of durable resistance in the tetraploid wheat species to the existing stem rust pathotypes in the most suitable environment for the development of the disease.