UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS)

The UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS) uses pathogen samples (isolates), taken from diseased cereal leaf samples, to check which varieties they can infect. The tests can help detect new races of wheat and barley pathogens capable of causing disease on previously resistant cereal varieties.

Cereal disease management homepage

UKCPVS facts

  • Monitors changes in pathogen virulence (wheat and barley)
  • Focuses on rusts and mildews
  • Managed by NIAB
  • First report published in 1967
  • AHDB (HGCA) has part-funded the work since 1992
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has co-funded the project since 2006
  • Samples provided by agronomists, trials officers and researchers

Young-plant resistance to yellow rust

The pathogen that causes yellow rust in winter wheat – Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici – comes in different forms. There are races that only infect particular varieties. To add further complexity, some varieties are susceptible to yellow rust when plants are young, but go on to develop some level of resistance after early stem extension (the ‘adult plant’ stage).

Young plant resistance to yellow rust

Watch the UKCPVS update from the 2023 Agronomy Conference

UKCPVS Stakeholder Event (post-event resources)

Targeted at breeders, crop scientists and technical agronomists, the annual stakeholder event reports on recent seedling test results and adult plant nursery tests. It also features related technical papers based on pathogen virulence experience from across the globe.

Catch up with previous events

Pages include links to presentations and videos.

16 January 2024 stakeholder event

1 March 2023 stakeholder event

2 March 2022 stakeholder event

12 March 2021 stakeholder event

Next event

Save the date: Monday 13 January 2025.

Keep an eye on this page for further details.

How to submit a leaf sample for testing

The success of UKCPVS depends on infected cereal leaf samples received from the field.

If you observe relatively high levels of disease on varieties with high disease ratings, please send a sample to UKCPVS for analysis. 

However, to help provide a snaphot of rust populations, any sample is welcomed, including from susceptible varieties.

The researchers also welcome samples from all regions, particularly those from which a sample is yet to be received.

The team uses the samples to look for evidence of shifts in disease resistance and reports findings to industry.

If you would like to get involved, full sampling instructions are available from the NIAB website.

Visit the UKCPVS page on NIAB's website

Note: Please send stem rust samples to JIC (not UKCPVS)

UKCPVS report archive

Every UKCPVS report since 1967...