Date of this Version



© 1989, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


The symptoms of barley yellow dwarf are covered here, as are disease occurrence and spread, and control.

Barley yellow dwarf (BYD) is distributed worldwide. It is the most economically important disease of barley and oats in North America. Barley yellow dwarf, wheat streak mosaic (WSM) and soil-borne wheat mosaic (SBWM), are three virus diseases that caused serious cereal grain yield losses in Nebraska during the last decade.

Since the mid-1980s barley yellow dwarf has become increasingly widespread in Nebraska, and now is a serious concern to oat and wheat producers. Outbreaks occasionally reach epidemic proportions as occurred in wheat in 1987 and oats in 1988.

The barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) actually includes several related viruses grouped into five strains based primarily on the specific aphid species able to transmit the particular strain. Barley yellow dwarf virus can be transmitted by 23 species of aphid and infects almost 100 species of annual and perennial grasses, including barley, corn, oats, rye and wheat.