Global Pgt Initiative: An international genetic resource to combat stem rust

An important component of the management of wheat stem rust is an understanding of the population diversity of the pathogen, Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt). The discovery of “Ug99” resulted in renewed efforts on pathogen surveys, sample collections and pathotyping of Pgt, with a primary focus on Africa. In the last few years these efforts have been expanded to include other targeted regions, however a global effort is needed. The aims of the “Global Pgt Initiative” is: to capture and maintain living cultures that collectively reflect the entire global diversity of Pgt in the years 2014 - 2016; pathotype and genotype this collection; develop DNAbased diagnostic tools that will be able to rapidly detect shifts in Pgt populations, and provide an early warning system of the vulnerability of wheat to new virulent strains; and provide a genetic baseline for comparison of Pgt populations over time, both forward and backwards. This initiative will provide the wheat rust community with a geographically distributed, well characterized, living culture collection that represents the global diversity of Pgt; a global open access knowledge bank on Pgt pathotypes and genotypes; and advanced molecular diagnostic tools for rapid detection and tracking of Pgt populations. The Global Pgt Initiative represents the most comprehensive effort to capture and characterize the global diversity of Pgt and provide a unique resource to the global wheat rust community.

Les Szabo
USDA-ARS, Cereal Disease Laboratory
L.J. Szabo, D. Hodson, R.F. Park, T.F. Fetch, M.S. Hovmoller, Z.A. Pretorius, Y. Jin, K. Nazari and R. Ward
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