Assessing resistance of UK winter wheat varieties to soil-borne wheat mosaic virus and wheat spindle streak mosaic virus


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 September 1999 - 31 August 2002
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
AHDB sector cost:
£56,341 from HGCA (project 2182).
Project leader:
G BUDGE and C M HENRY Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, UK



About this project


Soil-borne wheat mosaic virus (SBWMV) and Wheat spindle streak mosaic virus (WSSMV) cause serious diseases of winter wheat. Replicated field trials were set up in 5 fields in France and Italy over 3 seasons to assess the resistance of 23 varieties of UK winter wheat to infection by either SBWMV, WSSMV or a combination of both viruses.

The majority of the UK varieties tested became heavily infected with SBWMV showing typical symptoms, including leaf streaking and stunting. Few or no foliar symptoms were seen on varieties Aardvark, Charger, Claire, Cockpit, Hereward and XI19. Subsequent serological testing confirmed these varieties to be resistant or partially resistant to SBWMV. Of these, Claire, Charger, Hereward and XI19 are on the current 2002 recommended and provisionally recommended list and are therefore available for immediate use by UK farmers.

At a heavily infected site, the average yield of susceptible varieties was reduced by 42% when compared to the average yield of resistant varieties. The count of heads per m² at harvest was significantly reduced in susceptible varieties, suggesting SBWMV infection reduces tillering in UK varieties. At the most infected site, plant emergence was also reduced by SBWMV infection. None of the UK varieties became infected with WSSMV, which strongly indicates that these varieties are resistant to the virus.