Progress in Ug99 resistant wheat discussed
Time is noted as being a limiting factor because moving from the research lab to mass seed production can be a drawn out process that also requires seed company and government commitment. Farmers in Africa and other undeveloped countries also will not have the money to replace their old wheat varieties with new ones as they become available, which is necessary to quickly put a stop to the Ug99 threat.
David Hodson, with the Global Cereal Rust Monitoring System at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is presenting information on Ug99’s spread. He said there are now more than 20 countries contributing data to the Ug99 surveillance and monitoring system, compared to only two in 2007, and 10 more countries could become contributors shortly.
In conjunction with Ug99, the pathogen of yellow rust is a topic being addressed at the symposium, too. New data is being presented that shows yellow rust is now common in the world's wheat-growing regions of the Middle East and Africa, and this rust can cause up to 40 percent yield losses. Yellow rust is no small concern, but it is not the threat being focused on the most.