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Wheat blast occurred in Bangladesh for the first time in Asia in 2016. It is caused by a fungal pathogen, (MoT) pathotype. In this review, we focused on the current status of the wheat blast in regard to host, pathogen, and environment. Despite the many efforts to control the disease, it expanded to neighboring regions including India, the world's second largest wheat producer. However, the disease occurrence has definitely decreased in quantity, because of many farmers chose to grow alternate crops according to the government's directions. Bangladesh government planned to introduce blast resistant cultivars but knowledges about genetics of resistance is limited. The genome analyses of the pathogen population revealed that the isolates caused wheat blast in Bangladesh are genetically close to a South American lineage of . Understanding the genomes of virulent strains would be important to find target resistance genes for wheat breeding. Although the drier winter weather in Bangladesh was not favorable for development of wheat blast before, recent global warming and climate change are posing an increasing risk of disease development. Bangladesh outbreak in 2016 was likely to be facilitated by an extraordinary warm and humid weather in the affected districts before the harvest season. Coordinated international collaboration and steady financial supports are needed to mitigate the fearsome wheat blast in South Asia before it becomes a catastrophe.
PMID: 30828274 [PubMed]