New resistant wheat varieties halt spread of deadly disease

21 January 2014

Kenya has made a major breakthrough in finding new varieties of wheat that are resistant to a devastating fungal disease.

Black Stem Rust affects cereals, especially wheat and can cause complete crop failure if fungicides are not sprayed on time.

A strain of the disease known as UG99 is spreading rapidly throughout the world, causing major concerns for countries that depend on wheat for sustenance.

In the fight to combat the spread of UG99, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is working to distribute the new resistant mutant wheat lines to other countries, in addition to providing training in mutation techniques.

The IAEA’s Steve Thatchet reports.

Duration: 3'53"


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