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Posted Wed Jun 22 2011: from IRIN:
All wheat varieties will have to be replaced
Winds carried ash clouds from a volcano in Chile thousands of kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean to affect flights in South Africa on 19 June, so it is possible that the spores of the variants of a deadly mutant fungus, Ug99, a wheat stem rust that surfaced in South Africa in 2009, could travel to Australia - one of the world's four main wheat exporters - in the same way.... The fungus, which causes rust-coloured patches on the infected parts of the plant, is spread by spores that can survive harsh winters. They germinate in warmer conditions and are usually transported by the wind - but sometimes even on clothing - over long distances and across continents.... Up to 90 percent of wheat varieties in the world are susceptible to Ug99 and its variants, and all of them will eventually have to be replaced by new "super" varieties that are resistant to the deadly pathogen.... "Our super wheat varieties are also resistant to yellow rust, so it makes a sound economic case to replace all varieties," said Singh. "You get more for the price of one."
[Read more stories about: GMOs, food crisis]
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'Doc Jim says:
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