More than drought affecting wheat yields

Jun 06, 2006

U.S. agronomists say wheat producers have more than a drought affecting their yields this year, as various viruses invade crops.

Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher Tom Allen, a plant disease diagnostician, said he saw more than 150 wheat samples sent to the Great Plains Diagnostic Network lab this growing season, in addition to 400-plus samples the plant pathology staff gathered across the Panhandle.

Ninety-five percent of the samples were diagnosed with the wheat streak mosaic virus. The virus is vectored by the wheat curl mite, Allen said, and so far there's no treatment for either the virus or the mite.

The samples came from as far north as Nebraska and as far south as Dallas, said plant pathologist Charlie Rush, making the outbreak the most widespread in years for wheat streak mosaic damage.

"We don't have a good understanding of the wheat curl mite and its ecology," Rush said. "There are big gaps in our knowledge. But we ... have things working in the field that should provide answers in the next couple of years."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Expedition finds Nemo can travel great distances to connect populations

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Taking a shortcut to improving wheat

Sep 12, 2014

In 2011 the world's farms produced a total of 681 million tonnes of wheat, but with an ever growing demand from a growing population, there is a real need for increasing yields yet further.

The future of our crops is at risk in conflict zones

Sep 08, 2014

Wild species related to our crops which are crucial as potential future food resources have been identified by University of Birmingham scientists, however, a significant proportion are found in conflict ...

Researchers aim to disarm a 'cereal killer'

May 28, 2014

A fungus that kills an estimated 30 percent of the world's rice crop may finally have met its match, thanks to a research discovery made by scientists at the University of Delaware and the University of California ...

Recommended for you

Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after five centuries

3 hours ago

A team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig. Extracted from a sixteenth century pig found at the site of the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, the data obtained indicates that ...

Spy on penguin families for science

5 hours ago

Penguin Watch, which launches on 17 September 2014, is a project led by Oxford University scientists that gives citizen scientists access to around 200,000 images of penguins taken by remote cameras monitoring ...

User comments : 0