Wheat blast is a fungal disease that leads to large yield losses. In February 2016, wheat blast was first found in Bangladesh. This was the first report of the disease in Asia. The disease already caused large yield losses and there is a significant worry that the disease will rapidly spread to wheat production areas in India and beyond.
The key piece of genomic information was gathered by the teams of Sophien Kamoun at The Sainsbury Laboratory, Diane Saunders at The Genome Analysis Centre, and Tofazzal Islam of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University. These teams collected infected leaves from the field, sequenced a significant portion of the pathogen's genome and made the data instantly available.
We performed genomic and phylogenetic analyses to identify the nature and likely origin of the Bangladesh outbreak strains. We have summarised our findings here on github: https://github.com/crolllab/wheat-blast