Development of a highly sensitive, specific and rapid detection system for stripe rust spores in the field

  • Term: Three years, beginning 2015

  • Funding amount: $110,400

  • Lead researcher(s): Dr. André Laroche, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

  • Funding partners: Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF)

Project Description

The occurrence of stripe rust has dramatically increased in Western Canadian wheat crops since 2000, causing serious threats for wheat producers. Currently the resistance level to stripe rust among Canadian wheat varieties is moderate to low, and current detection methods rely on identifying disease symptoms on the plants, which occur two to three weeks after the disease spores arrive in winds from the States.

This research aims to develop a detection system that is based on presence and quantity of the spores rather than on presence of symptoms, so that producers may implement control measures earlier. This research also aims to employ a technology which will allow the detection of the disease spores sampled from the air or in the field. This approach represents the initial step toward designing appropriate monitoring programs for this important pathogen of wheat in Western Canada.

The outcomes of this project will permit the real-time, quantitative detection of stripe rust spores, information that would allow producers to make decisions on whether to apply fungicide and control measures two to three weeks earlier that current scouting methods permit.