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Published June 09, 2011, 07:20 PM

Scientists: 'Super' Wheat to Boost Food Security

Scientists say they're close to producing new varieties of wheat that resist a virulent fungus while boosting yields up to 15 percent, potentially easing a deadly threat to the world's food supply.

By: Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Scientists say they're close to producing new varieties of wheat that resist a virulent fungus while boosting yields up to 15 percent, potentially easing a deadly threat to the world's food supply.

The research is part of a global drive to protect wheat from the Ug99 strain of stem rust. It will be presented next week at a conference in St. Paul that's part of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, based at Cornell University.

Scientists say Ug99 variants are spreading beyond the East African countries where they were first identified in 1999.

The new wheat varieties have already been tested in Africa. The scientists say more research is needed, as well as funding from wealthy countries. But they hope the resistant varieties will enter widespread use in a few years.

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