Stripe rust of wheat, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. tritici, is of worldwide significance. Quantification of latent infection level is critical to estimate the potential for disease epidemics. In this study, field distribution of latent infection and the corresponding observed disease were studied in two growing seasons from 2009 to 2011 in Gangu, Gansu Province and Shangzhuang, Beijing, China. A previously developed real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was applied to obtain the molecular disease index (MDX) to quantify the level of latent infection. At 1 to 3 weeks after leaf sampling, the observed disease indices (DX) were assessed in the corresponding experimental sites. The computer software SURFER showed that the spatial distribution patterns of MDX had a linear relationship with DX in field plots with P = 0.01.
Plant Disease, Volume 96, Issue 4, Page 544-551, April 2012.