October 14, 2013


Pakistan, US scientists to introduce new wheat variety


Scientists from the US and Pakistan have launched and tested 'NARC-2011', a new wheat variety resistant to the feared UG-99 stem rust varieties.


According to details, the  USDA's Wheat Productivity Enhancement project (WPEP) has placed its highest priority in introducing disease resistant wheat varieties to Pakistan.


"The WPEP is working with Pakistani and international scientists to introduce, evaluate and release new high-yielding disease resistant wheat varieties," said an official of the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC).


The official said that the project is making progress following the successful testing and release of a highly productive variety that survives even the most destructive wheat disease.


At a recently held two-day WPEP annual wheat planning meeting, the participants agreed that making UG-99 resistant varieties available to farmers is a critical step in ensuring protection of wheat crop.


American and Pakistani agriculture scientists have expressed satisfaction over the progress made by the WPEP.
UG-99 is part of a lineage of wheat stem rust known as the fungus, Puccinia graminis tritici, which causes stem or black rust disease on crops. It was first detected in Uganda in 1998. So far, seven races of the UG-99 lineage are discovered and have spread to wheat-growing countries in the East African highlands, as well as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sudan, Yemen, and Iran.
UG-99 was recognised as a major threat against wheat production and food security.