HVETERUST - sustainable management of rust diseases in 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.

01. Apr 2020 - 30. Mar 2024
Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri
Industrifinansiering fra: Graminor, Felleskjøpet Agri, Strand Unikorn, Fiskå Mølle, Bayer, BASF, Syngenta

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)


Morten Lillemo
Morten Lillemo
Project manager
Min Lin
Min Lin
Project postdoc. Genetic analyses of rust resistance in Norwegian wheat. Participate in the epidemiology and disease management work.
Cecilie Yri
Cecilie Yri
Preparation and management of field trials
Anne Guri Marøy
Anne Guri Marøy
Genotyping and other lab analyses
Ingunn Burud
Ingunn Burud
Responsible for drone phenotyping

External participants

Andrea Ficke, NIBIO 
Chloé Grieu, NIBIO
Guro Brodal, NIBIO
Einar Strand, NIBIO/NLR
Bjørn Inge Rostad, NLR
Muath Alsheikh, Graminor
Jon Arne Dieseth, Graminor
Mogens Hovmøller, GRRC, Aarhus University, Denmark
Jose Crossa, CIMMYT, Mexico
Sridhar Bhavani, CIMMYT, Mexico
Xia Xianchun, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
Yang Ennian, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China