Assistance for resistance

March 9, 2007

One of the questions Norman Borlaug often asks when talking about rusts in the major cereals is why rice is not susceptible to rust fungi but wheat, barley and other cereals are. That question inspired a workshop on rust immunity systems organized by Ronnie Coffman of Cornell University and held last week at the CIMMYT Obregón station. Among the participants were representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Texas A & M University, Purdue University, the University of Minnesota and of course CIMMYT. Rob Horsch of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also participated. As a result of the workshop, the participants have been asked to prepare a concept note for submission to the Foundation for potential funding for rust resistance work.