The PAV strain of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is one of the causal agents of yellow dwarf disease in cereals. The use of germplasm resistant to BYDV is generally regarded as the most effective means of controlling damage caused by this pathogen. In field trials, response to infection with a barley yellow dwarf virus of selected wheat cultivars registered in the Czech Republic was compared with that of control cultivars. Although a good level of resistance to BYDV-PAV was found in cultivar Athlon and yield loss was low, symptoms were more severe than on the moderately resistant control cultivar Sparta. Several other cultivars, such as Nordika, Julie, and Replik, also had slightly less than a 30% reduction in grain weight per spike, even though symptoms were more severe on Sparta or Athlon. Our results showed that, in the case of approximately 60% of wheat plants with BYDV-PAV symptoms, the yield reductions under optimal agronomic conditions reached approximately 17% for moderately resistant cultivars and 30% for moderately susceptible cultivars. The application of N fertilizer significantly reduced yield losses in BYDV-PAV-infected wheat cultivars, particularly in the moderately resistant cultivars. Even when infected with BYDV-PAV, the yield of moderately resistant cultivars, including those of spring wheat, was still acceptable. However, the re-cultivation costs of spring wheat in replacing damaged winter wheat lead to a total economic loss per hectare that is much greater than that for BYDV-infected wheat cultivars (moderately resistant and/or moderately susceptible ones). Furthermore, the economic loss is much lower when a moderately resistant cultivar is used. Hence, even with a high level of disease symptoms in winter wheat, the re-cultivation of spring wheat is not economically feasible.
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