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First Ug99 tolerant wheat variety released in Bangladesh

Bangladesh recently gave the go-ahead to release a new wheat variety with resistance to Ug99. Bari Gom 26—commonly known as Hashi, and previously called BAW 1064—has CIMMYT parental lines in its pedigree, fairly good resistance against variants of Ug99, and impressive agronomic performance.

“Bari Gom 26 yielded 10% higher than the most popular variety, Shatabdi, in three years of multilocation testing in Bangladesh,” said T.P. Tiwari, cropping systems agronomist, CIMMYT-Bangladesh, adding that it also performed better than other varieties during on-farm testing. Because of its notable performance under late-sown conditions, Bari Gom 26 is believed to have heat tolerance. It also performs exceedingly well under zero tillage, said Shirajul Islam, director of the Wheat Research Center (WRC).

In Bangladesh, under the guidance of WRC and CIMMYT, Bari Gom 26 is under demonstration and multiplication on 44 hectares of farmers’ fields. This will result in 120 tons of improved seed that will be available for next year, according to Tiwari and Arun K. Joshi, CIMMYT wheat breeder.

This step toward mitigating the threat of Ug99 was made possible in part by a USAID seed multiplication famine fund program in which six countries are currently multiplying wheat varieties resistant to Ug99. The WRC of the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), and CIMMYT-Bangladesh are working together under this program to identify suitable Ug99 resistant varieties and for seed production and delivery. Wheat scientists involved in the development of Bari Gom 26 include Naresh Chandra Deb Barma, Moznur Rahman, Paritosh Kumar Malaker, Dinabandhu Pandit, and Abdul Hakim. Enamul Haque from CIMMYTBangladesh was involved in promotional activities for the variety.