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Expanding the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative: Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat

John Bakum: Cornell University

<div>Originally born as a response to the threat of Ug99, the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI), for 10 years has brought together researchers and institutions around the world to fight the threat of wheat rust. But, global wheat production faces many challenges, including biotic and abiotic stresses beyond rust diseases. It is for this reason that in 2016 the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) started a new phase called Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat, (DGGW). Within the DGGW, partner institutions will continue to collaborate and build on the successes of the BGRI. Increased efforts will be allocated to the implementation of cutting-edge technologies and methods such as genomic selection and high throughput phenotyping into the CIMMYT wheat breeding program, with the aim to use to shorten breeding cycles, improve genetic resistance, and ultimately develop and deploy varieties of wheat that incorporate climate resiliency and multiple disease resistance for smallholder farmers in politically vulnerable regions. With wheat facing so many challenges, the BGRI aims to engage the broader wheat community beyond the DGGW to foster collaboration among other research projects, including enabling data and knowledge exchange, implementing training sessions targeted to specific groups and creating and maintaining online learning resources. The poster will display progress towards milestones.</div>