Wheat rust makes a comeback
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CTA. 2006. Wheat rust makes a comeback. Spore 123. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48064
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore123.pdf
The telltale reddish brown spores that herald a resurgence of wheat s most deadly pathogen have been spotted on plants in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda...
The telltale reddish brown spores that herald a resurgence of wheat s most deadly pathogen have been spotted on plants in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The scourge, which is capable of destroying 100% of a crop, has struck fear into the hearts of farmers ever since agricultural records began. Modern breeding, combined with the free international exchange of experimental wheat lines, resulted in the development of wheat varieties able to resist wheat rust, and for several decades the threat seemed to have abated. But now a highly resistant strain of the pathogen has emerged, bringing with it warnings of a global epidemic. Called UG99, the new strain is already destroying harvests in East Africa and is moving fast. The disease is caused by a highly contagious fungus that spreads its spores on the world s wind currents and can be transported on the clothes and luggage of travellers. The Global Rust Initiative has been mounted in an attempt to head off the disease. This international initiative involves the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization (EARO). For once, Africa can help the rest of the world, says Dr Marianne Banzinger, Director of CIMMYT s African Livelihoods Programme. There is time to make a difference. This is a chance we cannot afford to miss. CIMMYT Apdo. Postal 6-641 06600 Mexico, D.F. Mexico Fax: +52 (55) 5804-7558 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cimmyt.org