Apr 12, 2013 by Jason Beddow

Stem rust is a potentially devastating fungal disease that can kill wheat plants and small grain cereals, but more typically reduces foliage, root growth, and grain yields. The pathogen multiplies rapidly, and its spores can be dispersed by wind over thousands of kilometers.

Photo credit: CIMMYT

Coming up in December, I'll be honored to give the keynote address at the Field Crops Rust Symposium in San Antonio. Crop rust – wheat stem rust, in particular – is a topic we’ve spent a lot of time with in recent years, and we’re making fresh progress (see this recent paper) toward mapping and understanding the threat both in Africa and here in the U.S.