Wheat blast is an important disease for warm and humid wheat production regions, caused by Magnaporthe oryzae pathotype Triticum.
The disease was first identified in the state of Paraná of Brazil in 1985, and it subsequently spread to other major wheat-producing areas of Brazil as well as several neighboring countries like Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. In recent years, wheat blast has been observed in Bangladesh and Zambia, threatening wheat production in Asia and Africa.
Field resistance source is mostly limited to 2NS carriers, which are being eroded by newly emerged MoT isolates, necessitating an urgent need for broadening the genetic basis of wheat blast resistance.
The changing climate (global warming and irregular rains) and the evolving tendency of the pathogen (increasing virulence, fungicide resistance and sexual recombination) can further aggravate disease incidence and severity.
CIMMYT is working on different strategies to mitigate the global threat of wheat blast, in collaboration with national agricultural research partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
New project to deliver wheat disease warnings directly to farmers’ phones in Bangladesh and Nepal.
Looking at wheat diseases in times of the COVID-19 crisis.
Wheat blast is one of the most fearsome and intractable wheat diseases in recent decades. It spreads through infected seeds, crop residues as well as by spores that can travel long distances in the air, posing a major threat to wheat production in tropical areas.
Researchers urge donor agencies to support the dissemination of new blast-resistant, biofortified wheat in Bangladesh.
They show how wheat blast spreads, its potential effect on wheat production in South Asia and ways farmers can manage it.
Workshop participants learned how to use the latest in technology to identify and keep track of the deadly Wheat Blast disease.