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CAAS-China and CIMMYT renew and strengthen partnership

Building on a long, fruitful partnership, on 04 December 2007 in Beijing the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) and CIMMYT signed an agreement for a new, three-year, collaborative wheat breeding program. The chief aim is to develop new cultivars with resistance to stem rust and other diseases, as well as adaptation to climate change, particularly tolerance to heat and drought. According to the agreement, participants will draw upon modern methods such as genomics, marker-assisted selection, and informatics systems. Efforts will focus in part on developing varieties that resist Ug99, a deadly new strain of stem rust that is virulent for most current wheat cultivars and appears to be moving steadily from its point of original sighting, in eastern Africa, toward the major wheat farming areas of the Middle East and South Asia.