HVETERUST - sustainable management of rust diseases in wheat

HVETERUST - sustainable management of rust diseases in wheat

Stem rust, yellow rust and leaf rust on wheat

Rust diseases pose a serious threat to wheat production in Norway. The HVETERUST project will develop disease management strategies by considering epidemiology, resistance breeding and optimal use of fungicides when they are needed.



Recent outbreaks of new pathogen races of yellow rust (stripe rust), stem rust and leaf rust in Europe pose a serious threat to Norwegian wheat production. Yellow rust epidemics have re-appeared in Norway. Important wheat cultivars are susceptible, and sales statistics indicate a 30% increase in fungicide applications. Stem rust and leaf rust also pose serious threats due to recent outbreaks in neighbouring countries.


This project aims to i) investigate and understand rust epidemiology in Norway, ii) identify and characterize rust resistance genes, iii) deliver tools for resistance breeding, iv) develop sustainable and integrated disease control strategies, and v) deliver practical recommendations to the farmers. This holistic approach will consider the most important wheat diseases and provide expertise and management tools to fulfil the goals of IPM.

More about the project

The project brings together the national expertise on wheat genomics, plant pathology, breeding and agronomy at NMBU, NIBIO, Graminor and NLR, and collaborate closely with the world-leading expertise on rust diseases in wheat and statistical modelling. Disease management recommendations will be disseminated to farmers through the agricultural extension service (NLR) and key private actors in seed sales and grain handling (FK Agri, Strand Unikorn and Fiskå Mølle) and plant protection (Bayer, BASF and Syngenta).

The work is organized in six work packages:

WP1: Project management (WP leader: Morten Lillemo, NMBU)
WP2: Alternative hosts and winter survival of rust diseases (WP leader: Andrea Ficke, NIBIO)
WP3: Host resistance and tools for resistance breeding (WP leader: Morten Lillemo, NMBU)
WP4: An integrated approach to sustainable disease management (WP leader: Guro Brodal, NIBIO)
WP5: Dissemination and communication (WP leader: Einar Strand, NLR)