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Scientists discuss major wheat disease at a symposium in China

To discuss fusarium head blight (FHB, or scab), a major wheat disease, over 130 delegates from East Asia, Europe, and North and South America attended the 4th International Symposium on FHB in Nanjing, China, during 23-26 August 2012. The symposium was organized by Nanjing Agricultural University and Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, CIMMYT’s long-time collaborators, and provided an opportunity to discuss recent research and explore further opportunities for cooperation.

CIMMYT was represented by Etienne Duveiller, BISA director of research for South Asia/associate director, global wheat program (GWP) and member of the international organizing committee; Xinyao He, Adjunct Postdoc in the GWP; and Young-Keun Cheong, CIMMYT Adjunct Scientist. Duveiller presented on wheat breeding for better resistance to FHB and reduction of mycotoxin contamination, and He discussed the characterization of new sources of resistance in his poster presentation.

Although considerable progress has been achieved in recent years regarding germplasm development and understanding of the genetics and genomics of scab resistance, FHB continues to be a major wheat disease requiring further research, as it not only reduces grain yield and quality but also raises concerns about food safety due to mycotoxin contamination.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for Duveiller to acknowledge the significant progress achieved in the last decade and the collaboration between CIMMYT and Chinese scientists in development and improvement of scab resistance germplasm. The 5th International FHB Symposium will be held in Brazil in 2016.