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Novel gene resists toxic wheat disease that costs billions

fusarium-inoculation-web
While a student in 2002, WSU’s Mike Pumphrey inoculates wheat with Fusarium spores before measuring the plants’ resistance.

PULLMAN, Wash. – Scientists at Washington State University and Kansas State University have isolated and cloned a gene that provides resistance to Fusarium head blight, or wheat scab, a crippling disease that caused $7.6 billion in losses in U.S. wheat fields between 1993 and 2001. » More …

WSU seeking patent on wheat

WSU is seeking international patent protection on Scarlet Rz1, a new spring wheat genotype believed to be the first to have resistance to Rhizoctonia root rot, a yield-limiting root disease found world-wide.

 

“This is the first wheat genotype that we know of that has tolerance to this disease,” said Kim Kidwell, interim spring wheat breeder and associate dean of academic programs for WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. “It’s a major problem in direct seeded spring wheat production. We’ve just started to present data publically, and people are interested in it because the disease is a serious yield-limiting factor in Australia … » More …