USAID-ARS PARTNERSHIP TO COMBAT THE FURTHER SPREAD OF WHEAT STEM RUST PATHOGENS
Project Number: 0210-22310-004-01
Start Date: Sep 30, 2011
End Date: Sep 29, 2014
Conduct at the Cereal Disease Lab (CDL) in St. Paul, Minnesota extensive research on race-type isolates of wheat stem rust from the developing world to better understand the virulence and spread of the disease in developing countries and to identify new sources of resistance and characterize breeding germplasm.
Increase CDL’s greenhouse capacity and development of increased analytic capacity by up to five-fold to analyze wheat stem rust over the next three years for this effort. The proposed new greenhouse capacity is essential to carry out research on foreign isolates of stem rust and other cereal rusts in a physically isolated facility from the existing greenhouse facility. This will prevent potential contamination. More importantly, this will increase our capacity for race-typing additional collections and increase our capacity for seedling tests in identifying new sources of resistance and in characterizing breeding germplasm. Although the actual number of samples may vary depending upon the scope of surveys in the targeted countries, we anticipate to race-type approximately 500 isolates (derived from ~100 collections) per season, a five-fold increase from the current capacity. We will commit 50% of the new capacity for race-typing samples from Pakistan and Afghanistan, two countries with very limited capacity for in-country race-typing. The remaining capacity will target samples from countries that are critical for monitoring the movement of Ug99 and for capturing the most virulence/genetic diversity of the pathogen. We will also utilize the facility to enhance our research efforts in identifying sources of virulence variations of the stem rust pathogen in eastern Africa. In particular, we will study the potential role of Berberis holstii in generating new races in stem rust and stripe rust pathogens in eastern Africa. This facility will increase our capacity sufficient enough to include seedling tests of breeding germplasm from specific countries, namely Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to facilitate their breeding efforts for Ug99-resistance.