Monday, June 15, 2009

Stem rust

"Farmers have been battling stem rust for as long as they have grown wheat. The fungus' ancestors infected wild grasses for millions of years before people began cultivating them for food, said Jorge Dubcovsky, professor of genetics and plant breeding at UC Davis."The pathogen keeps mutating and evolving," he said. "It's one of our biblical pests. This is not a small enemy."" (Thanks Anna)

I have blogged several times about this (one of my earliest posts, nearly 2 years ago). But we are only half way towards a solution, which, as it looks now, may come from old varieties and wild relatives. Long live biodiversity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi rami,

this in not only the case of stem rust of wheat, in general, all pathognes evolve much more rapidly than plant resistant genes, and the theory is a zig zag model (I can send it to you), the evolution of virulence gene in the pathogen and resistant gene in the plant.