Over eighty wheat cultivars were characterized for disease phenotype at the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University. Twenty-five cultivars that represented the array of phenotypes from very resistant to very susceptible were shipped to collaborators in Bolivia under permit of SENESAG, the Bolivian phytosanitary organization. The wheat seed were vernalized at ANAPO and then transplanted to a field test site in Quirusillas. Christian Cruz (Ph.D. student) and Jim Stack spent one week in Bolivia (March 4-11) evaluating the wheat cultivars for disease incidence and severity. Diseased wheat tissues were collected from the test plots for isolation of the pathogen.
In addition, a survey of potential alternate hosts was undertaken. Weedy plants in and adjacent to wheat fields were collected, bagged, and shipped to the biocontainment lab in Maryland for isolation of the pathogen. If Magnaporthe oryzae is isolated from these other plant species, single spore isolates will be inoculated onto wheat plants to determine pathogenicity. If these other M. oryzae isolates are pathogenic to wheat, then a genetic analysis will be performed to determine if they are the Triticum pathoype. If positive, then a more detailed survey of alternate host distribution will be undertaken to support epidemiological studies.