Cereal Killer: Wheat Blast Haunts the Global Dinner Table

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Farming, Food Security | Posted on 07-08-2017

A deadly fungus jumped two oceans, from South America to Bangladesh. India and China could be next, and U.S. scientists are on guard.

August 1, 2017 by Aaron Levin

Alone in a field of deep green, the bleached yellow head of a single winter wheat plant jarred the experienced eye of an agronomist walking through a test plot in Princeton, Kentucky in May 2011.

DNA testing at the University of Kentucky confirmed the bad news: The plant had wheat blast, a disease that can drastically reduce a farmer’s yield, and for which little natural resistance is known. Magnaporthe oryzae, the fungus that causes it, had never been seen on wheat in the United States outside of a biosafety-level 3 lab. Read the rest of this entry »