Stripe rust is an extremely destructive disease of wheat. Attacking early in the growing season, plants are often stunted and weakened and crop losses can be severe – from 50 to 100% - due to damaged plants and shriveled grain. To make matters worse, changes in temperature and rainfall have encouraged the emergence of new races of rust capable of overcoming currently resistant wheat varieties.
As disease risks spreading to new areas, wheat growing countries – especially low-income wheat growing countries – need to be aware of the risks and strengthen their preparedness to counter a potential epidemic.
In response to this threat, ICARDA is initiating a global dialogue among key stakeholders to discuss new perspectives, share country experiences, and develop potential solutions to stripe rust disease. Efforts include an international conference to be held in Turkey at the end of April – the 2nd International Wheat Rust Symposium – which will bring together the world’s leading stripe rust researchers to interact with decision makers from rust-affected countries and assess the current state of research and regional cooperation on rust surveillance.
As a platform to encourage sustained international collaboration on wheat stripe rust, the meeting will update participants on the latest research innovations: rust surveillance and disease monitoring, population dynamics, conventional and molecular approaches to breeding for durable stripe rust resistance, genetics of resistance to stripe rust, and seed delivery systems.
Debates at the conference will be captured on a new website which offers a package of practical solutions and strategies that can be scaled-up and applied worldwide. These include surveillance and information exchange between countries; planning awareness and preparedness to rapidly deliver appropriate seeds and fungicides; enhancing capacity and skills in ministries, extension services, and at the farm level to develop effective strategies for managing rust diseases; and crop research for continued, long-term efforts to develop new varieties that are resistant to emerging races of wheat rust.
The online resource also calls for more funding to help affected countries deal with the threat that stripe rust poses to productivity and livelihoods. While significant investments have been made to control other types of rust – such as stem rust – funding for stripe rust remains relatively small and less coordinated.
To visit the website – Wheat Stripe Rust: Scientific Solutions for countries – go to: http://www.icarda.org/striperust2014/
The 2nd International Wheat Rust Symposium will be held in Izmir, Turkey, from April 28-May 1, 2014. To register for the conference visit: http://www.registrationstriperust2014.org/
Wheat Stripe Rust: Scientific Solutions for Countries: the website provides new perspectives, shares country experiences, and highlights potential solutions to stripe rust disease