Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding

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INHERITANCE STUDIES IN WHEAT XV: DIVERSE SOURCES FOR FIELD RESISTANCE TO INDIAN RACES OF BLACK RUST OF WHEAT

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BLACK or stem rust of wheat (Puccinia graminis tritici Erikss. & Henn.) is the most widely
distributed of the three wheat rusts occurring in the tracts of India where wheat is cultivated. This rust is the most dreaded of the three rusts and has been responsible
for severe epidemics from time to time which created wholesale destruction to the crop
and misery to millions of farmers in India. In fact, farmers in some of the tracts such
as the central, eastern and peninsular India, where the damage due to this rust is
particularly severe, were at one time afraid to grow wheat and even when it was grown
were afraid ofirrigating their crop. It is only in recent years, with the introduction
of resistant strains that farmers started gaining confidence in growing wheat in these
t:r:acts. The ravage due to black rust in India could be well visualized from the statement of Sleeman as early as 1839 who, while speaking of rust in the Central Provinces,
wrote, "I have seen rich sheets of uninterrupted wheat cultiv,ation 'fur twenty miles
by ten in the valley of the Narbudda so entirely destroyed by this disease that the
people would not go to the cost of gathering one field in four", and further" I believe
that the total amount of the wheat gathered in the harvest of 1827 in the District of
Jubbulpore was not equal to the total quantityof seed that had been sown" (Howard
and Howard, 1910). Similar epidemics of black rust have been recorded again and
again in India, the latest being those that occurred in peninsular India in 1946-47
and in eastern India in 1955-56.
  

Info

Year: 1962
Volume: 22
Issue: 3
Article DOI: NA
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906

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