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Scientists and Policymakers Gather to Tackle Stripe Rust

Driven by the shift toward higher temperatures and increasingly variable and intense rainfall for short durations, wheat stripe rust is flourishing in new areas of the world. Aggressive new strains have decimated wheat crops, notably in 2010 when an epidemic destroyed some 400,000 hectares in Ethiopia and caused losses of up to 80 percent in some parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

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New resource to tackle threat of wheat stripe rust

Izmir, May 21, 2014. Countries affected by wheat stripe rust, a serious threat to food security in many regions, now have a new resource to fight the disease – the Regional Cereal Rust Research Center, based in Turkey and serving countries across the region.

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Mobilizing international efforts to defeat stripe rust

During the 2nd International Wheat Stripe Rust Symposium, ICARDA’s Director General, Dr. Mahmoud Solh, spoke about the global threat posed by stripe rust, the strategies needed to tackle this threat, and the need for a global initiative to strengthen future wheat production. (more…)

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New research institute leads fight against stripe rust

A new research center is offering strategic support to farmers and countries affected by the growing threat of wheat rust – an extremely destructive disease that is now endemic in many wheat-producing countries and spreading fast with the impact of climate change.   (more…)

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A roadmap to mitigate rust epidemics

Efforts to defeat wheat stripe rust in the years to come will depend on regional and international cooperation – information exchange and the mutual sharing of risk analyses that are able to track a rapidly spreading disease like stripe rust. (more…)

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A framework for fast-track seed distribution

When a major stripe rust epidemic struck Ethiopia in 2010 the country was highly susceptible to major crop losses: Ethiopian farmers had limited access to resistant seed and the country’s ability to respond to demand in the immediate aftermath of an outbreak was constrained by a poorly functioning infrastructure. (more…)

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Improving the efficiency of crop science

Crop research – the breeding of disease-resistant wheat varieties – is the chief line of defense for wheat crops against stripe rust, and in fact, for all rust diseases. However, although disease-resistance can be built into wheat, the development cycle is typically about ten years for new varieties to be released and made available to farmers. (more…)

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Early warning system pays off

Ethiopia has long had to contend with wheat stripe rust epidemics. Most recently, in 2010, the disease caused significant crop losses, affecting an estimated 400,000 hectares. The epidemic covered almost all wheat-growing regions in the country except Tigray Province. Most of the commercial bread wheat cultivars were susceptible.

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Translating science into action

The science and strategies needed to contain the threat of posed by wheat stripe rust are well known to the agricultural research community. In the area of crops science, for instance, pathogenic variability, a narrow genetic base resistance, and host preference change are all necessary.

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Progress, but still a long way to go

Wheat stripe rust poses a significant threat to global wheat production: new aggressive rust races are spreading and they are present in most of the world’s wheat-growing areas. They are also emerging in new areas as a result of climate change, and appear earlier in the growing season.

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