Wheat rusts, a challenge to Science, given the world population growth

Ernesto Hacke E.1

Considering the world population growth and the great importa nce of wheat as a basic food, the need to increase the yield of this cereal is emphasized, due to the scarce posibilities of increasing substantially the area seeded each year. But the rusts are one of the most serious limitations for this endeavou r. Rusts cause enormous losses throughout the world, having the ability to generate new pathogenic forms that wili attack the new originally resistant cultivars created by man, As an alternative way to contribute to solve th is problem, the use of multil ineal and variety combinations is emphasized, following the approach suggested by CIMMYT. The author considers that this methods would enhance the efficiency of wheat variety improvement in Chile.

1 Estación Experimental La Platina (INIA), Casilla 5427, Santiago, Chile.