Wheat Rust: The Devastation and Attempts to Control over the Years
Int. J. Exp. Res. Rev., Vol. 8: 9-22 (2016)
Author: Shreena Pradhan, Manoj Sapkota and Dhruba Bahadur Thapa
Abstract: Wheat, staple food of billions and one of the major crops in volume, is an excellent source of nutrition and income. However, its susceptibility to rust poses a constant threat to sustainable production and hence food security itself. Wheat rust is the most urgent problem regarding the production of this irrevocably important crop. While cultural measures could lower down the extent of the infection, it isn’t a permanent solution. Breeding for durable resistance is by far the most dependable solution to the problem. However even this has had many setbacks of pathogen evolution, climate change and other factors. Linked DNA markers show promise for achieving race-specific resistance genes in combinations aimed at their longevity. However, a national deployment strategy is inevitable for its success. The most promising activity so far is breeding for cultivars carrying durable resistance genes based on both minor and additive gene effect. However, using genetic engineering still faces the sentimental opposition of the public against genetically modified organisms. A lot has been done and a lot is to be done in order to grow rust free wheat in our fields. The paper discusses in brief about the major milestones and ongoing attempts regarding wheat breeding for rust resistance.
Key words: Breeding for resistance; climate change and rust; Puccinia; Wheat loss.
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