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Wheat Blast Management: Host Resistance and Fungicide Protection

Pawan Singh: CIMMYT

<div>Wheat blast (WB), an emerging disease caused by the fungus <em>Magnaporthe oryzae</em> pathotype <em>Triticum </em>(MoT), has spread beyond South America to South Asia and threatens significant wheat production areas. Host resistance and fungicide application are two primary strategies to mitigate the effects of WB. There has been an intense search for sources of resistance to wheat head blast (WHB) since its discovery in 1985; however, identification of novel sources of resistance has proven difficult. To date, the only useful source is the 2NS/2AS translocation from <em>Aegilops ventricosa</em>. Global collaborative efforts are in place to establish field precision phenotyping platforms in Bolivia and Bangladesh and to collaborate with institutions across the globe on large-scale germplasm screening. Also, when weather conditions favor WHB development, fungicides are considered unreliable. Experiments conducted in 23 location-year environments in Brazil and Bolivia demonstrated that current chemical strategies to control WHB could provide some level of head blast control. Nevertheless, in some cases, that control could be limited and insufficient. We will present our understanding of the dynamics of MoT inoculum buildup, and discuss current breeding and fungicide timing strategies.</div>

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