The evolving battle between yellow rust and wheat: implications for global food security

Laura Bouvet, Sarah Holdgate, Lucy James, Jane Thomas, Ian J. Mackay, James Cockram*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a global commodity, and its production is a key component underpinning worldwide food security. Yellow rust, also known as stripe rust, is a wheat disease caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis Westend f. sp. tritici (Pst), and results in yield losses in most wheat growing areas. Recently, the rapid global spread of genetically diverse sexually derived Pst races, which have now largely replaced the previous clonally propagated slowly evolving endemic populations, has resulted in further challenges for the protection of global wheat yields. However, advances in the application of genomics approaches, in both the host and pathogen, combined with classical genetic approaches, pathogen and disease monitoring, provide resources to help increase the rate of genetic gain for yellow rust resistance via wheat breeding while reducing the carbon footprint of the crop. Here we review key elements in the evolving battle between the pathogen and host, with a focus on solutions to help protect future wheat production from this globally important disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-753
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number3
Early online date25 Nov 2021
Publication statusPrint publication - Mar 2022


  • Basidiomycota
  • Genomics
  • Plant Breeding
  • Plant Diseases/genetics
  • Triticum/genetics


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