Wheat production is globally weighed down by several biotic factors of which rusts and powdery mildew are the most important. Powdery mildew, caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, is becoming a disease of major importance in the North Western Plains Zone and Northern Hills Zone of the country. In the present context of
climate variability, diseases like powdery mildew can assume greater importance in wheat breeding programs. Importance of basic studies on powdery mildew is the need of hour. A set of 370 Indian bread wheat, durum, dicoccum and triticale varieties were screened using mixture of natural occurring pathotypes from four locations
(viz., Karnal, Ludhiana, Dhaulakuan and Yamunanagar) under polyhouse conditions. Data were recorded on the severity of infection based on 0-9 scale. Out of 370, only 23 varieties (Amrut, DDK 1025, DWR 1006, DWR 195, GW 1139, HD 4672, HD 4530, HD 2278, HD 1981, DDK 1001, HI 8627, Jay, TL 2942, DT 46, K 8020, DDK 1029, K 9107, K 816, Lok 1, MACS 6145, DDK 1009, NP 111 and NP 200) had shown immune reaction (0) whereas 150, 83 and 114 varieties have shown resistance (1-3), moderately susceptible (4-6) and highly susceptible (>6) response respectively against powdery mildew. Data indicated that there is an urgent need to broaden the genetic base of wheat by identifying and introgressing new sources of powdery mildew resistance. With limited sources of PM resistance available, above identified genotypes can be further used and characterized for resistance breeding programs in India.
Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, Epiphytotic, Pathotypes, Powdery mildew, Released varieties
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