An integrated research, communication and outreach approach is needed to combat the threat of the new virulent Ug99 stem rust mutant for U.S. wheat and barley production. This integrated approach will guide the evaluation of wheat and barley germplasm for vulnerability, develop diagnostic technologies and disease management systems, and accelerate the development of new varieties with genetic protection. This approach will also outline an effective monitoring, reporting and communication network. Strategic deployment and use of these resources and technologies will help to minimize the impact of new and emerging races of stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici Pgt-Ug99 or its derivatives. The structure of this Action Plan provides both a program and a scientific focus to ensure that the wheat and barley research, extension and outreach communities attains planned results in an effective and timely manner to minimize the impacts of these new virulent races of stem rust. The strategic goals of this Action Plan span the programmatic range of establishing a national communications network, demonstrating effective disease management systems, understanding host-pathogen interactions, developing enhanced germplasm, improving knowledge of pathogen biology, and developing decisions models to guide the implementation of control measures.
An ad hoc USDA workgroup, representing the broad interests of industry and the wheat research community, was charged with developing and writing this Action Plan which further defines actions to be taken for immediate implementation to solve the problem, describes what will be produced, assigns accountability for the work to be accomplished, and provides a mechanism for assessment of research progress.