Scientists race to determine origin of Bangladesh outbreak, which they warn could spread farther afield
Fields are ablaze in Bangladesh, as farmers struggle to contain Asia’s first outbreak of a fungal disease that periodically devastates crops in South America. Plant pathologists warn that wheat blast could spread to other parts of south and southeast Asia, and are hurrying to trace its origins.
“It’s important to know what the strain is,” says Sophien Kamoun, a biologist at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK, who has created a website, Open Wheat Blast (go.nature.com/bkczwf), to encourage researchers to share data.
Efforts are also under way to find wheat genes that confer resistance to the disease.Source: Devastating Wheat Fungus Appears in Asia for First Time – Scientific American