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Karnal Bunt (Tiletia indica)
Karnal bunt (Tiletia indica), a fungal disease of Wheat, durum wheat and triticale, was detected in certified durum wheat seed in Arizona in 1996. The disease was found in 3 seed lots that had been grown in Arizona and shipped within Arizona, as well as to California, New Mexico and Texas. Each of those states currently contains regulated areas restricting the movement of wheat seed and other regulated articles other than seed to non-infested areas. This is the first known occurrence of Karnal bunt in the United States. An ongoing national survey of all wheat production areas in the United States is necessary to provide information about the presence or absence of Karnal bunt disease.
The phytosanitary requirements of some of the United States' trade partners necessitate the collection of documental evidence that production areas are not infected at detectable levels. Without this documentation, USDA cannot provide the certifications that allow wheat to be sold to certain foreign markets. Since Karnal bunt is not readily detectable in the field, samples of harvested wheat must be collected and examined at a laboratory for the presence or absence of the disease. This ongoing survey continues to determine if Karnal bunt is present in Ohio wheat and negative results demonstrate that Ohio's wheat is safe to ship to trade partners. Each year wheat elevators in half of the Ohio counties that produce at least a million bushels of wheat are sampled for the disease such that all counties producing at least a million bushels are sampled every other year. To date the disease has not been detected in Ohio wheat.