Yuxiang Li#，Jichen Dai#, Taixue Zhang#, Baotong Wang, Siyue Zhang, Conghao Wang, Jiguang Zhang, Qiang Yao, Mingju Li, Chengyun Li, Yuelin Peng, Shiqin Cao, Gangming Zhan, Fei Tao, Haifeng Gao, Weili Huang, Xiaojun Feng, Yingwen Bai, Zhuoma Qucuo, Hongsheng Shang, Chong Huang, Wancai Liu, Jiasui Zhan, Xiangming Xu, Xianming Chen, Zhensheng Kang,* and Xiaoping Hu*. Genomic analysis, trajectory tracking, and field surveys reveal sources and long-distance dispersal routes of wheat stripe rust pathogen in China. Plant Communications. 2023. 4, 100563.
Identifying sources of phytopathogen inoculum and determining their contributions to disease outbreaks are essential for predicting disease development and establishing control strategies. Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici ( Pst ), the causal agent of wheat stripe rust, is an airborne fungal pathogen with rapid virulence variation that threatens wheat production through its long-distance migration. Because of wide variation in geographic features, climatic conditions, and wheat production systems, Pst sources and related dispersal routes in China are largely unclear. In the present study, we performed genomic analyses of 154 Pst isolates from all major wheat-growing regions in China to determine Pst population structure and diversity. Through trajectory tracking, historical migration studies, genetic introgression analyses, and field surveys, we investigated Pst sources and their contributions to wheat stripe rust epidemics. We identified Longnan, the Himalayan region, and the Guizhou Plateau, which contain the highest population genetic diversities, as the Pst sources in China. Pst from Longnan disseminates mainly to eastern Liupan Mountain, the Sichuan Basin, and eastern Qinghai; that from the Himalayan region spreads mainly to the Sichuan Basin and eastern Qinghai; and that from the Guizhou Plateau migrates mainly to the Sichuan Basin and the Central Plain. These findings improve our current understanding of wheat stripe rust epidemics in China and emphasize the need for managing stripe rust on a national scale.