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A New Pathogenic Race of Tilletia caries Possessing the Broadest Virulence Spectrum of Existing Races

J. B. Matanguihan and S. S. Jones

May 2011


Common bunt, caused by the fungi Tilletia caries and T. laevis, is one of the most destructive seedborne diseases of wheat. In order to maintain high yields and excellent seed quality, organic growers must rely heavily on resistant wheat cultivars, and it is thus necessary to identify and monitor the pathogenic races of the local pathogen population. Towards this goal, races of T. caries present in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho were identified by inoculating field collections of the pathogen on 13 differential wheat cultivars. Results of 3 years’ testing show that there is a new pathogenic race in Washington State, which possesses the broadest virulence spectrum to date compared with known bunt races. Furthermore, 2-year data indicates the presence of other new races in Washington, California, and Oregon.


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