Bacterial Coated Fertilizer Induced Resistance Against Wheat Stripe Rust
Keywords:wheat stripe rust, Puccinia striiformis, specialty fertilizer, Zabardast urea, Endophytic bacteria
Wheat is the second largest consumed cereal by humans after Rice and its high yield and production is very critical for ever increasing global population. The wheat crop is grown all over Pakistan and threatened by several limiting factors. Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis, is the most destructive wheat pathogen and can reduce yield up to 70% in Pakistan. The present study aimed at exploring the role of Zabardast urea, a bacterial coated urea with zinc, in inducing resistance against wheat stripe rust. The study involved the collection and maintenance of stripe rust inoculum on Morroco cultivar which later used to inoculate seedlings of Akbar-2019 and Galaxy-2019 resistant and susceptible varieties with three different fertilizer levels viz. specialty fertilizer zabardast urea, plain urea with zinc and plain urea. The results demonstrated the positive role of bacterial coated urea with zinc and reduced the disease severity by 10% and 5% in susceptible and resistant cultivars, respectively, leaving resistant variety asymptomatic. The plain urea with zinc also decreased disease severity in susceptible variety Galaxy-2013 by 6% in comparison with plain urea treatment underlying the role of zinc in combating stripe rust. The study underlines the importance of specialty fertilizers in inducing resistance against stripe rust in wheat and needs further experimentation exploring the mechanisms involved in disease resistance under field conditions.