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Plant Diseases in the News #1

Plant Diseases in the News #1 - Plant Diseases in the News...

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Plant Diseases in the News I am doing my report on wheat rust and how it is affecting the world’s food supply. The article is from The Economist and describes how this fungus is spreading throughout Africa and may eventually affect us Americans. The disease, known as Wheat Rust, is caused by the fungus Puccinia graminis. Unlike some other wheat rusts which affect the leaves, this variety (which is the Ug99 variant), affects the stems of the plant. The disease is transferred by pores that land on wheat plants and then develop pustules which harm the outer parts of the stem. (Wikipedia, 2010) You can visibly recognize the disease by the uredia, which simply are the blisters or pustules which plague the stem. This would not be a problem if the illness did not cause fewer tillers or cease seed production. In many cases the plant may just simply die. With the advent of the Green Revolution and Borlaug’s research and gains in the field, wheat
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