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Newly discovered fungus threatens world wheat crop

RickRussellTX (755670) writes | more than 6 years ago

Biotech 5

RickRussellTX writes "The UN reports that a variety of the rust fungus originally detected in Uganda in 1999 has already spread as far north as Iran, threatening wheat production across its range. The fungus infects wheat stems and affects 80% of wheat varieties, putting crops at risk and threatening the food sources for billions of people across central Asia. Although scientists believe they can develop resistant hybrids, the fungus is moving much faster than anticipated and resistant hybrids may still be years away.

Meanwhile, national governments in the path of the fungus are telling folks that there is nothing to worry about."

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5 comments

hmmmm. What about rice (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22767382)

Right now, China is having difficulty handing their food base. Combine that with the expected water variability coming (glaciers melting rapidly, less water between 35N/S), and I think that overpopulation is about to be a none issue.

Oppertunity in hardship (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22767406)

"The UN reports that a variety of the rust fungus originally detected in Uganda in 1999 has already spread as far north as Iran

If Iran's wheat crop goes down, I really hope we can manage to not be assholes and help them out with minimal political BS attached to any relief supplies. That is the kind of action that will begin to repair the rift between the West and Islamic world. Maybe extending an honest hand in friendship will do what troops cannot.

Re:Oppertunity in hardship (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22767854)

The West has given plenty of food and oil to resource-poor and famished North Korea.

Re:Oppertunity in hardship (1)

toastee (132341) | more than 6 years ago | (#22767886)

The us government has no interest in normalizing relations with iran. this would not be profitable for the people who run the country. the only thing they care about is profit for them and their families.

Ergo... (1)

PJ The Womble (963477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22773314)

Perhaps we nerds are just worried it might have the same kind of possibilities that ergot came up with in the fifties. Didn't someone once say they saw the finest minds of a generation destroyed by madness? http://www.vet.purdue.edu/depts/addl/toxic/plant14.htm [purdue.edu] . Remember, if you or your usergroup are affected, as the article suggests: "Call a veterinarian if nervous signs are present".
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