Races and genotypes of the three wheat rusts in Europe 2021

Stem rust is spreading in Europe and three prevalent genetic groups were detected in multiple countries across Europe.

Stem rust on wheat

Samples of yellow-, leaf- and stem rust were received from a total of 20 countries, of which 15 has no national rust diagnostic laboratory. The genotyping and race typing results were to a large extent integrated with results from national diagnostic laboratories based on alignment experiments across laboratories and methodologies. The combined results are available in a recent draft report from the RustWatch project, but also available on maps and charts generated by the Wheat Rust Toolbox, which are accessible from multiple websites including www.wheatrust.org. The latter is also hosting comparable results from non-European wheat growing regions in World.


  • In stem rust, we observed additional spread in Europe, in particular within France, but also in other countries in Central/West Europe, where the disease was reported on multiple locations and wheat varieties. This is a particular concern due to a high proportion of wheat varieties on the European market, which are susceptible to stem rust. 
  • The three prevalent groups, termed Clade III-B (race TTRTF), Clade IV-F (race TKKTF), and Clade IV-B (races TKTTF, TKRTF), were detected in multiple countries across Europe in 2021.
  • In yellow rust, PstS10 was the most prevalent genetic group, which has been the case in recent years. Three races have been prevalent in PstS10 in recent years, termed Kalmar, Benchmark and Amboise (named after cultivars where they first caused epidemics).
  • A different group, PstS13, was prevalent on triticale and durum wheat, but in other parts of the world, PstS13 has also caused epidemics on bread wheat. Other genetic groups were generally present in low frequencies or absent in individual countries.
  • In leaf rust, the main group termed Fam166, was widely spread and found in all countries from where samples were submitted. A new genetic group and race was detected in Czech Republic from a sample collected on spelt. A group mainly affecting durum wheat showed wider diversity than previously recorded.

Figure 1. Dynamics of prevalent genetic groups within wheat yellow rust in Europe since 2008. Data are based on RustWatch activities and results reported by national rust diagnostic laboratories in Europe (so far very few results from 2022).

You can find the results on maps and charts via these direct links:


WP1 leader: E-Mail: annemariefejer.justesen@agro.au.dk

Report in pdf

Read the full draft report in pdf