Breakthrough could help address growing demand for the staple that already provides a fifth of global caloric intake.
An international team of scientists has identified a gene that can prevent some of the most significant wheat diseases—creating the potential to save more than a billion dollars in lost production in Australia each year.
Estimates put potential losses from wheat rust diseases in Australia alone at more than one-and-a-half billion dollars each year.Associate Professor Harbans Bariana
The findings should have wide-reaching ramifications, with wheat already providing a fifth of global caloric intake and set to spike in the next 50 years.
A gene that can prevent some of the most important wheat diseases has been identified—creating the potential to save more than a billion dollars in lost production in Australia each year.
In a global collaboration including the University of Sydney’s Plant Breeding Institute (PBI), the CSIRO, CIMMYT (Mexico), University of Newcastle, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, the gene Lr67 has been identified as providing resistance to three of the most important wheat rust diseases, along with powdery mildew, a significant disease in Norway.
The findings, published today in Nature Genetics, should have wide-reaching ramifications, with wheat already providing a fifth of global caloric intake and set to spike in the next 50 years.
CGIAR (the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future.
CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out by 15 Centers, that are members of the CGIAR Consortium, in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector.”. It does this through a network of 15 research centers known as the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers. These research centers are spread around the globe, with most centers located in the Global South, at Vavilov Centers of agricultural crop genetic diversity. CGIAR research centers are generally run in partnership with other organizations, including national and regional agricultural research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector.
CGIAR is unusual in that it is not part of an international political institution such as the United Nations or the World Bank; it is an ad-hoc organization which receives funds from its members. The membership of CGIAR includes country governments, institutions, and philanthropic foundations including the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan, the Ford Foundation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the Fund of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC Fund). In 2009 CGIAR had revenues of $629 million.