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Importance of Fusarium spp. in Wheat to Food Security: A Global Perspective

Petronaitis, T., Simpfendorfer, S. and Hüberli, D. (2021) Importance of Fusarium spp. in Wheat to Food Security: A Global Perspective. In: Scott, P., Strange, R., Korsten, L. and Gullino, M.L., (eds.) Plant Diseases and Food Security in the 21st Century. Springer, Cham, pp. 127-159.

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Fusarium species are responsible for causing two major diseases in wheat worldwide: Fusarium head blight (FHB) and Fusarium crown rot (FCR). These diseases threaten wheat production worldwide and have the potential to impact food security negatively, especially since it is estimated that global wheat production will need to increase by around 60% over the next thirty years to meet the demands of the increasing population. FHB and FCR epidemics have become more frequent and widespread in recent times, with pressures from climate change, conservation agriculture and the increasing adoption of wheat-maize rotations contributing to this trend. This review provides a synopsis of yield loss in wheat from Fusarium species at a global level, covering briefly each major wheat-producing region, and discusses the impacts of these losses from a perspective of food security. Asian regions, particularly China and India, stand to benefit the most from reducing yield losses to Fusarium species as they produce the most wheat for domestic consumption, have the largest population and are vulnerable to food security shocks (e.g. losses of production due to disease). This is amplified by the increasing incidence of FCR in these countries in recent seasons. Although significant research efforts have been made to control FHB and FCR, e.g. crop breeding and integrated disease management (IDM), the pressure on cropping systems to meet the cereal requirements of a growing population, along with climate change and social/political pressures (e.g. plant-based fuel production, political unrest), will bring new challenges.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Springer, Cham
Copyright: © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Other Information: Series Title: Plant Pathology in the 21st Century; Vol. 10
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