Cornell NewsMarch 8, 2011 —
Wheat Research Program Receives $40 million
Cornell’s Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat program will receive $40 million over the next five years from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the British Government to combat a particular strain of stem rust infections that could threaten global food security. According to Professor Sarah Nell Davidson, the strain is one of the worst diseases of wheat that can cause real devastation. Various strains of the disease have been causing devastation on the world’s food supply for over 2,000 years. Davidson added that it’s thought to have caused some of the major famines in the Bible. The purpose of the grant is to fight the Ug99 strain which was first discovered in Uganda in 1998 and has since spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Iran and South Africa. The grant is to work towards finding new types of genetic resistance of wheat.