Gene Discovery May Halt Worldwide Wheat Epidemic

14 December 20171 min reading

Researchers from University of California, Davis, have identified a gene that enables resistance to a new devastating strain of stem rust, a fungal disease that is hampering wheat production throughout Africa and Asia and threatening global food security.


The discovery by UC Davis wheat geneticist Jorge Dubcovsky and his team will help breeders more quickly develop varieties that can fend off the deadly pathogens and halt a worldwide wheat epidemic. The findings were recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Wheat and stem rust have been in an evolutionary arms race for more than 10,000 years. In the 1950s, a major epidemic of the disease spread through North America and destroyed up to 40 percent of the wheat crop, the world’s second most important grain next to rice. Since then, scientists have developed rust-resistant varieties to boost wheat’s immunity to stem rust. But the pathogens are making a comeback. A new strain of the stem rust - called Ug99 after it was discovered in Uganda in 1999 - is spreading throughout the region. About 90 percent of the wheat varieties grown worldwide are susceptible to Ug99.

Articles in News Category
06 June 20213 min reading

ADM to build new soy crushing facility in North Dakota

Greg Morris, President of ADM’s, Ag Services & Oilseeds business ADM announced its plan to bu...

22 October 20202 min reading

Viterra announces plans for new elevator in West Central Saskatchewan

Viterra, Canada's grain industry leader, announced its plans for a new, state of the art grain el...

13 September 20183 min reading

Belgian La Lorraine to invest 20 million euros in Manisa

Entering into Turkish baked goods market in 2016 with an investment of 33 million euros, Belgian La...