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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Aug;8(4):441-9.

Tracking wheat rust on a continental scale.

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USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.


The rusts of wheat are important fungal plant pathogens that can be disseminated thousands of kilometers across continents and oceans by wind. Rusts are obligate parasites that interact with resistance genes in wheat in a gene-for-gene manner. New races of rust develop by mutation and selection for virulence against rust resistance genes in wheat. In recent years, new races of wheat leaf rust, wheat stripe rust, and wheat stem rust have been introduced into wheat production areas in different continents. These introductions have complicated efforts to develop wheat cultivars with durable rust resistance and have reduced the number of effective rust-resistance genes that are available for use. The migration patterns of wheat rusts are characterized by identifying their virulence against important rust resistance genes in wheat and by the use of molecular markers.

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