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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Research Project #445660

Research Project: Wheat Disease Early Warning Advisory System (DEWAS) – Surveillance and Diagnostics

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research

Project Number: 8044-22000-051-022-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2023
End Date: Jan 31, 2026

Global trade of the world's most important food crop (wheat) is being disrupted by conflict, climate change, changing cropping practices and by globalization driving pest and disease outbreaks. The objective for this project is to identify new races of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici in samples of wheat from an Early Warning Advisory and Knowledge System (EWAKS) global surveillance project.

Exotic cereal rust samples sent from collaborators in Africa, South Asia, and Europe are received and processed in the USDA-ARS BSL-3 Plant Pathogen Containment Greenhouse Facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Rust samples, provided as uredinia on wheat or aecia on Berberis spp., are recovered by inoculation onto fully susceptible wheat cultivars. If viable material is recovered, urediniospore samples are inoculated onto differential lines for species confirmation and preliminary race typing at Fort Detrick on select wheat lines. Accessions are evaluated based upon their geographical origin, and differential lines are selected for evaluation. Multiple samples are then harvested; one set for shipment to the USDA-ARS, Cereal Disease Laboratory (CDL), St. Paul, Minnesota, and one set archived at Fort Detrick. A separate set of samples consisting of excised pustules from infected leaves are placed into tubes with 70% ethanol, and these killed samples are sent to the USDA-ARS-CDL for SNP-based molecular genotyping.