NC503: Host Plant Control Resistance to and Best Management Practices for Karnal Bunt of Wheat
Statement of Issues and JustificationKarnal bunt (KB) of wheat, caused by Tilletia indica, was introduced into the United States in 1996 into small areas in Arizona, Texas and California. This is a serious quarantine pathogen, with over 70 wheat importing countries requiring certification that wheat is free from T. indica and comes from an area not known to be affected by the pathogen. There is zero tolerance for the presence of the pathogen. APHIS has managed the quarantine of the affected areas and after a 1997 spread to two counties in central Texas, there had been no further spread of KB. However, starting in May 2001, the pathogen was detected in grain elevators in northern Texas. It has now been found in four new counties in Texas just south of the Oklahoma border. KB is now at the southern end of the nearly continuous wheat belt that extends from Texas to Canada. Spread of this pathogen into the main winter and spring wheat growing regions of the US could result in the loss of a major share of foreign markets for US wheat growers. This would have a catastrophic impact on the economies of the mid west and Great Plains states.
Last Modified: unknown
Back to Top