Preview of the Workshop on surveillance of race Ug99 in South America

Tom Fetch
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Our hope is that the II Workshop on surveillance of race Ug99 in South America and breeding wheat for resistance can bring awareness of the importance of the Ug99 situation to the scientists and students in South America.  Ug99 is mutating and migrating and could move to South America on prevailing winds.  We would like to get the rust scientists involved in the global effort to monitor virulence in the cereal rusts that has been initiated by the BGRI.  We would like to get the wheat breeders to think about doing proactive breeding to get effective resistance to Ug99 into new varieties before it arrives in their country.

Although we have started some limited training on rust pathology to scientists and students in South America, we wanted to bring in world cereal rust experts from various countries to expand and enhance their knowledge.  Likewise, those of us already involved in BGRI surveillance of rust pathogens will gain knowledge of the current status of rust survey work being done in South America.  This is a win-win situation where we both learn and share knowledge about cereal rust problems in our countries and around the world.

This workshop will build on a smaller effort last year that involved mostly local participation of students and scientists.  This workshop will host over 70 participants and brings in the leading world experts in rust pathology to expand on what we could present from last year.

To me personally, there seemed to be a void in the knowledge of rust virulence in South America.  With Ug99 now in South Africa I was very concerned about potential migration to South America and our ability to detect this.  I am very happy to have contributed my share of funding from the Durable Rust Resistant Wheat project to help train and enable scientists in South America to do rust surveillance and join us in the collaborative global effort to combat the Ug99 threat.

The workshop will take place 8 October - 10 October.  Keep up to date with the event by following #ug99 on Twitter and Facebook and blog posts here on