Start Date: Sep 29, 2010
End Date: Sep 28, 2014
The collaborative activities proposed under this project are in direct response to the spreading threat of new, virulent strains of wheat stem rust. They are also consistent with, and build upon, the Regional Food Security Symposium on Wheat Stem Rust held in Islamabad in August 2009, in which 75 scientists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, Iran, and the United States participated. Scientists from CIMMYT Int. (Mexico) and ICARDA (Syria) international centers also joined in formulating a combined effort to combat UG99 and other virulent wheat diseases to ensure food security in this region. This proposed program constitutes the next step forward in mounting a comprehensive program in Pakistan, one that will also contribute to broader regional food security by building on efforts already conducted by such organizations as CIMMYT Int., ICARDA, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Government of Pakistan. Cooperators will: • Strengthen Pakistan’s own wheat rust surveillance and facilitate maximum synergies between Pakistan and international rust surveillance efforts • Conduct pre-breeding to enhance the diversity and utility of rust resistant wheat breeding parents. • Accelerate breeding to develop and test rust-resistant, high-performance candidate wheat varieties. • Conduct seed multiplication and distribution of improved wheat varieties. • Address agronomic management practices to enhance the application of best practices for Pakistan. • Establish an exchange program between Pakistani scientists drawn from relevant national research institutions and agricultural universities within each Province, where applicable, to stress the need for longer-term joint collaborative training of plant scientists within the provinces.