The High Plains Journal, which is a highly read Agricultural journal for farmers, put out an article about a new test for discriminating native Magnaporthe oryzae triticum from the new invasive strain.
In 2016 this pathogen which causes “wheat blast” was detected outside of South America for the first time (see a previous blog entry on wheat blast detection in Bangladesh ), making the USDA anxious about being able to detect the pathogen. The problem was, there are already native, not as pathogenic strains of M. oryzae present in the US. To over come this, they created a test that can discrimate the not native strains from the invasive ones.
The new test is sensitive to differentiate 280 different strains from around the world, so it will be useful id other highly pathogenic strains were to arise in the future. Another added benefit apparently is that farmers may confuse symptoms with Fusarium graminearum and this test will be able to rule out this pathogen.
The USDA-ARS is hopeful that this rapid test (24 hour results) will allow for APHIS to inspect wheat coming into the US for this disease.
This article was well written at a farmer level and will hopefully put this test in the back of farmer’s minds if they see something suspicious in their fields.
Link to the full article: