ABSTRACT A total of 78 isolates of Puccinia triticina from durum wheat from Argentina, Chile, Ethiopia, France, Mexico, Spain and the United States and 10 representative isolates of P. triticina from common wheat from the United States were tested for virulence phenotypes on seedling plants of 35 near-isogenic lines of Thatcher wheat. Isolates with virulence on lines with leaf rust resistance genes Lr10, Lr14b, Lr20, Lr22a, Lr23, Lr33, Lr34, Lr41, and Lr44 represented the most frequent phenotype. Cluster analysis showed that P. triticina from durum wheat from South America, North America, and Europe had an average similarity in virulence of 90%, whereas isolates from Ethiopia were <70% similar to the other leaf rust isolates collected from durum wheat. Of the 11 isolates from Ethiopia, 7 were avirulent to Thatcher and all near-isogenic lines of Thatcher. The isolates from common wheat had an average similarity in virulence of 60% to all leaf rust isolates from durum wheat. P. triticina from durum wheat was avirulent to many Lr genes frequently found in common wheat. It is possible that P. triticina currently found on durum wheat worldwide had a single origin, and then spread to cultivated durum wheat in North America, South America, and Europe, whereas P. triticina from Ethiopia evolved on landraces of durum wheat genetically distinct from the cultivated durum lines grown in Europe and the Americas.