Scientists issue rallying cry for wheat blast research | EurekAlert! Science News
"A team of scientists in the UK and Bangladesh are turning to the combined knowledge of the global scientific community to address an emerging threat to Asian agriculture. The target is the fearsome fungal disease wheat blast. The pathogen was spotted in Bangladesh in February this year -- its first report in Asia. Wheat is the second major food source in Bangladesh, after rice. The blast disease has, so far, caused up to 90% yield losses in more than 15,000 hectares. Scientists fear that the pathogen could spread further to other wheat growing areas in South Asia. The UK and Bangladeshi teams are making raw genetic data for the wheat blast pathogen available on a new website -- http://www.wheatblast.net -- and inviting others to do the same. Professor Sophien Kamoun, of The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, who is leading the project, said that a wide cultural change is needed for scientists to optimally address new threats to food security ..."