Wheat Fungus

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Wheat Fungus

Post by Bonecrusher Doc » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:50 pm

Do a google news search for "wheat fungus." Or just read this link: http://chattahbox.com/world/2009/06/14 ... urn false;

Pretty scary, huh? Maybe I should plant some barley or something.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by arrowolf » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:12 pm

Old news sez me from the Dept. of Agriculture.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by Shadow_Man » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:26 pm

If you're talking about UG99 wheat stem rust this is something that we'd all better be paying attention to. It's recently crossed out of Africa and is now moving into Iran. If it gets to India and then China it will wipe out about 2/3 of the wheat production in the world. There are currently no strains of varieties of wheat that have resistance to UG99.

If you've ever read "No Blade of Grass" this is something akin to that story. UG99 is also mutating as it advances east. If it mutates to attack other forms of grass....rice, oaks, barely, etc., we could be in real trouble world wide!
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by Pondo_Sinatra » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:06 am

I'm sure that Monsanto will save us. As long as we don't infringe on their patents.

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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by Lucretius » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:22 am

farblue wrote:I'm sure that Monsanto will save us. As long as we don't infringe on their patents.
:lol:

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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by arrowolf » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:06 am

The life cycle of Puccinia graminis is fairly complex, requiring an alternative host species. Fortunately, the United States has an agency already in place with the experience in combating and eradicating imported plant pests and diseases including wheat diseases, APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), in the Dept of Agriculture. That's the agency I work for.

There are other ways of combating plant disease besides genetic resistance. I work in the Karnal Bunt eradication project in Texas. Karnal Bunt is another wheat fungus which was imported into the western hemisphere. KB severly affects grain quality and yields. KB has no know genetic resistance either. You can combat Puccinia fungus by either disrupting it's life cycle or by eliminating its alternative host, barberry. Disrupting it's life cycle can include tilling and/or planting non-host crops. Quite a lot of the barberry in the US has been eliminated from wheat producing areas. We sampled grain from regulated fields and certified it as bunt-free for export and restricted movement of infected grain. We sampled seed wheat for spores. If spores were found, it could not be replanted. As of this summer's harvest, Texas is now considered Karnal Bunt-free. So, we have experience in dealing with these kinds of problems.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by aksaia » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:35 am

A WHEAT disease that could destroy most of the world's main wheat crops could strike south Asia's vast wheat fields two years earlier than research had suggested, leaving millions to starve. The fungus, called Ug99, has spread from Africa to Iran, and may already be in Pakistan. If so, this is extremely bad news, as Pakistan is not only critically reliant on its wheat crop, it is also the gateway to the Asian breadbasket, including the vital Punjab region.
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Scientists met this week in Syria to decide on emergency measures to track Ug99's progress. They hope to slow its spread by spraying fungicide or even stopping farmers from planting wheat in the spores' path. The only real remedy will be new wheat varieties that resist Ug99, and they may not be ready for five years. The fungus has just pulled ahead in the race.

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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by stilagrrl » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:39 pm

I'm surprised this thread hasn't gained more traction. A fungus that can potentially wipe out more than 80% of the worldwide wheat supply seems pretty serious. While UG99 hasn't reached North America, researchers are saying it's not a matter of if, but when. This article from the LA Times seems pretty dire:

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/14 ... eat-rust14" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Is no one on ZS worried because everyone has a ton of wheat stored up? I know I don't, but I do have some white and whole wheat flour stored in oxygen free containers. I guess it's time to look into storing some wheat.

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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by razi » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:39 am

stilagrrl wrote:I'm surprised this thread hasn't gained more traction. A fungus that can potentially wipe out more than 80% of the worldwide wheat supply seems pretty serious. While UG99 hasn't reached North America, researchers are saying it's not a matter of if, but when. This article from the LA Times seems pretty dire:

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/14 ... eat-rust14" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Is no one on ZS worried because everyone has a ton of wheat stored up? I know I don't, but I do have some white and whole wheat flour stored in oxygen free containers. I guess it's time to look into storing some wheat.
as arrowolf said, we've got experience dealing with these things.

the more likely problem is that if India and China's grain crops are severely affected, it will mean that the price of wheat will increase worldwide. flour and all flour-related goods (bread, wheat-brewed beer, etc) will be more expensive.
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Post by NightHiker » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:09 am

:words:
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by bonanacrom » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:18 am

If the beer is in danger I'm all for going to war on this thing ! Every government in the world should place all there finances into research to save the beer. A world without beer ? The horror.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by Lucretius » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:42 am

bonanacrom wrote:If the beer is in danger I'm all for going to war on this thing ! Every government in the world should place all there finances into research to save the beer. A world without beer ? The horror.
While I agree in principle, we're not talking about anything other than WHEAT beer. Which the world is a better place without IMO.

Regular beer is in no immediate danger (except from me), so there's still good reasons to live!
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by Molon Labe » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:09 pm

Lucretius wrote:
bonanacrom wrote:If the beer is in danger I'm all for going to war on this thing ! Every government in the world should place all there finances into research to save the beer. A world without beer ? The horror.
While I agree in principle, we're not talking about anything other than WHEAT beer. Which the world is a better place without IMO.

Regular beer is in no immediate danger (except from me), so there's still good reasons to live!
Except that UG99 has the potential to attack barley as well, later down the road. Then ALL YOUR BEERZ ARE BELONGZ TO US, the Funghus of The Deepwell.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by arrowolf » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:17 pm

Molon Labe wrote:
Lucretius wrote:
bonanacrom wrote:If the beer is in danger I'm all for going to war on this thing ! Every government in the world should place all there finances into research to save the beer. A world without beer ? The horror.
While I agree in principle, we're not talking about anything other than WHEAT beer. Which the world is a better place without IMO.

Regular beer is in no immediate danger (except from me), so there's still good reasons to live!
Except that UG99 has the potential to attack barley as well, later down the road. Then ALL YOUR BEERZ ARE BELONGZ TO US, the Funghus of The Deepwell.
Then I suppose we'll just be reduced to drinking oatmeal stout. Well, boo-hoo.
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Post by NightHiker » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:10 pm

:words:
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by spacecase0 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:22 pm

anyone know if it hurts corn and sorghum ?
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by arrowolf » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:39 pm

No, it does not affect either one. Puccinia graminis is fairly species-specific. Some strains can also affect oats but not Ugg99.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by spacetyrant » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:50 am

Looks like this threat is continuing its spread.

This is a site setup by the FAO to track the progress of Ug99:
http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/rust/stem/en/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Wheat Rust is also getting more exposure in the media:
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/f ... ngus/all/1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.economist.com/node/16481593? ... d=16481593" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by sql_yoda » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:23 am

spacetyrant wrote:Looks like this threat is continuing its spread.

This is a site setup by the FAO to track the progress of Ug99:
http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/rust/stem/en/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Wheat Rust is also getting more exposure in the media:
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/f ... ngus/all/1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.economist.com/node/16481593? ... d=16481593" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Nearly 11 months dead thread brought back to life.. I am so proud.

It's a new story about a newly discovered pathogen... You can open a new thread.

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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by concept2w » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:00 pm

I'm not surprised. Never heard of this fungus but what I do know is that when something is in abundance, mother natures creates something to eat it. Overpopulation of species; natural control. I'm sure we all agree on that.

This seems to be only the beginning of the trend.

Stop reading here if you don't like or want to hear about theories.

I don't like alarmist and such, but we ( human ) are the most populated species from size-wise. ( the biggest living organism that is most spread).

I feel mother nature painted a big target on my chest and I don't like it.

There must be somewhere a mathematical probability in where population size crosses a "critical mass" where most of the eradication occurs. We can surely push this event a bit later but at one point any technology won't provide. Like wheat, I'm not familiar with it but there must be multiple events where modifying their gene occured in order to provide the subsistence of the specie. There are a lot more wheat plant on Earth than there are humans. But can we do a correlation between wheat population and human versus destructive fungus/parasite/virus/bacteria?

Hypothesis : At X number of copies of the same living organism, eradication occurs.
Correlation Analysis: Wheat population is at 20 billions plants. ( guesstimate ). Since 5 billions forth, scientist created a cure. Human population is at 7 bil. Few times we created a cure for stuff ( malaria, smallpox, etc. ) At 20 billion critical number is reached and extinction occurs, or drastic diminution of copies of living specimens.

Toss in the mix of the complexity of the living organism involved. ( I.E. the simplest of organism could live in much larger numbers? )

Non related. We are always the food for something else. But we, near-sighted humans, are always alarmed when something close is threatens. Think food chain. If I wanted to disrupt the population of something, I'll destroy the original food source of that specie. Not sure about human but destroying plankton would certainly decimate a huge number of species in a cascade effect.

Food for thought. Any ideas/comments?
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by phil_in_cs » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:36 pm

concept2w wrote:I don't like alarmist and such, but we ( human ) are the most populated species from size-wise. ( the biggest living organism that is most spread).
...

Food for thought. Any ideas/comments?
Ah, maybe if you mean sentient species, maybe. There are many animals and plants who's global population exceeds 6 billion.

Global human population growth has been slowing for many years. Not because of war or disease, but because of wealth. One people get beyond the hand to mouth stage, they no longer need to have 15 kids. A generation or two after that, the number of children per family drops sharply. (a generation or two is needed for the custom of large families to stop. The economic benefits of having a few children quickly exceeds the larger family, but cultures take a while to catch up.) It is doubtful the human population will ever get to 7 billion.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by autolex » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:14 am

There's this one fungus on wheat that makes some pretty cool stuff... (Lysergic somethinorother...) :wink:

but yeah, regular old killer wheat fungus could be catastrophic!
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:09 am

Global human population growth has been slowing for many years. Not because of war or disease, but because of wealth.
Not just wealth, education and women rights plays a much bigger role. Countries where education is poor and women have no rights but there is plenty of wealth still see a huge population growth (ME for example). A country with a high literacy rate, strong women's rights but poor would show a low population growth (eastern Europe)
But can we do a correlation between wheat population and human versus destructive fungus/parasite/virus/bacteria?
We could but it would prove nothing. You can shake the digits all day long to produce whatever evidence you think you have but it would make no difference.
I'm sure that Monsanto will save us. As long as we don't infringe on their patents.
Just remember if you "allow" the plant to reproduce without a license you may be committing a crime :lol:

Most of the ME is heavily dependent on Africa for it's food supply. Shut that off and they will be forced to buy on the open market forcing prices way up.
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Re: Wheat Fungus

Post by IceWing » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:53 am

bonanacrom wrote:If the beer is in danger I'm all for going to war on this thing ! Every government in the world should place all there finances into research to save the beer. A world without beer ? The horror.
Or worse, the world beer quality could reduce to the lowest common denominator, leaving the entire world with nothing better than American Lite Beer.

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