There have been two introductions of wheat stripe rust into Australia. These introductions may have entered Australia on clothing. The first introduction occurred in Victoria in 1979, and stripe rust rapidly spread across eastern Australia. This original rust mutated, and a number of pathotypes (also known as races or strains) developed enabling the rust to attack more wheat varieties over time. This first introduction, even though wide spread in the east, did not move to Western Australia.
The second introduction of stripe rust into Australia occurred in Western Australia in 2002. In 2003, this pathotype was detected in eastern Australia. This second introduction, now known as the "WA" pathotype, quickly became dominant in eastern Australia. Since 2003 the "WA" pathotype has undergone several mutations. There are now many pathotypes of wheat stripe rust that are common in Victoria. The resistance ratings provided in disease guides often represent the worse of the pathotypes.