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Mitigating the effects of stripe rust on wheat production in South Asia and eastern Africa

This project aims to reduce wheat vulnerability to stripe (yellow) rust in South Asia and East Africa.
Stripe (yellow) rust has caused devastating epidemics in South Asia, and is a serious problem in the East African (EA) highlands. Stripe (yellow) rust has become more severe in many regions and spread into warmer areas; it has adapted to warmer temperatures, can cause disease more quickly, and is virulent for minor gene resistance.
The project will partner with cereal pathology, genetics and breeding personnel in Nepal, Pakistan and India (South Asia), and Ethiopia. The project will identify and appraise minor gene resistance to yellow rust across East Asia and South Africa. Scientists in a network of cereal improvement centres will research rust variability and host resistance in the South Asia and Ethiopian epidemiological zones.
The project outputs include knowledge of yellow rust resistance in South Asian and Ethiopian wheat germplasm, wheat germplasm resistant to yellow rust, high throughput markers linked to important yellow rust resistance genes, and wheat stocks to monitor pathogen virulence on minor genes.
The project will make Australian wheat industry resilient to incursions of stripe rust. It will benefit farmers and millers, while more stable and profitable cereal production will benefit cereal consumers in each country. Reduced yellow rust in cereal production will increase yield stability and productivity, while reducing or eliminating fungicide in controlling yellow rust will result in safer food for consumers, safer workplaces, and a cleaner environment.