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African Ug99 fungus could wipe out 80% of the world's wheat

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steven johnson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 11:00 PM
Original message
African Ug99 fungus could wipe out 80% of the world's wheat
A significant humanitarian crisis is inevitable if the Ug99 fungus spreads before resistant wheat is bred. This is an old pest which has lately mutated to a more virulent form. Oklahoma State University is trying to crossbreed wheat for the predicted 12 year breeding process but they are only three years into the process. I guess we cross our fingers.


By Karen Kaplan
June 14, 2009

The Ug99 fungus, called stem rust, could wipe out more than 80% of the world's wheat as it spreads from Africa, scientists fear. The race is on to breed resistant plants before it reaches the U.S.

Crop scientists fear the Ug99 fungus could wipe out more than 80% of worldwide wheat crops as it spreads from eastern Africa. It has already jumped the Red Sea and traveled as far as Iran. Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America -- if it doesn't hitch a ride with people first.

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico estimates that 19% of the world's wheat, which provides food for 1 billion people in Asia and Africa, is in imminent danger. American plant breeders say $10 billion worth of wheat would be destroyed if the fungus suddenly made its way to U.S. fields.

After several years of feverish work, scientists have identified a mere half-dozen genes that are immediately useful for protecting wheat from Ug99. Incorporating them into crops using conventional breeding techniques is a nine- to 12-year process that has only just begun. And that process will have to be repeated for each of the thousands of wheat varieties that is specially adapted to a particular region and climate.


A 'time bomb' for world wheat crop
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 11:00 PM
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1. I've got $5 that says it won't.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-14-09 12:31 AM
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2. Plant soy beans then....corn, sorghum, peanuts, potato's, Whatever else
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steven johnson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-14-09 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Wheat is unique -- only cereal grain that has enough gluten to make yeast bread without other flours
Edited on Sun Jun-14-09 01:17 AM by steven johnson
You can bake something from the grains you've listed but only wheat has enough gluten to make yeast bread without being mixed with other flours. Gluten is a protein that helps yeast breads develop their framework and structure while trapping the CO2 bubbles.

Making bread without wheat is possible, but the resultant productgenerally won't have a light aerated crumb.

http://www.cjonline.com/stories/072600/foo_flour.html .

http://sourdough.com/forum/topic/1174
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-14-09 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Oh well....there goes Montana Red....meanwhile...the scientists will solve this..I hope
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-14-09 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. A 'time bomb' for world wheat crop
he Ug99 fungus, called stem rust, could wipe out more than 80% of the world's wheat as it spreads from Africa, scientists fear. The race is on to breed resistant plants before it reaches the U.S.
By Karen Kaplan
June 14, 2009

The spores arrived from Kenya on dried, infected leaves ensconced in layers of envelopes.

Working inside a bio-secure greenhouse outfitted with motion detectors and surveillance cameras, government scientists at the Cereal Disease Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn., suspended the fungal spores in a light mineral oil and sprayed them onto thousands of healthy wheat plants. After two weeks, the stalks were covered with deadly reddish blisters characteristic of the scourge known as Ug99.

Nearly all the plants were goners.

Crop scientists fear the Ug99 fungus could wipe out more than 80% of worldwide wheat crops as it spreads from eastern Africa. It has already jumped the Red Sea and traveled as far as Iran. Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America -- if it doesn't hitch a ride with people first ...

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-w...
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-15-09 01:11 PM
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6. Seriously grim news
and the best solution, much to the chagrin of many, is a GMO.
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