Mogens S. Hovmøller, Co-ordinator of RustWatch

Global Rust Reference Center, Aarhus University
Research Centre Flakkebjerg
Forsøgsvej 14200, Slagelse


Direct phone: +45 87158129

About RustWatch

RustWatch will establish a stakeholder driven early-warning system to improve preparedness and resilience to emerging rust diseases on wheat, which is Europe’s largest agricultural crop. This is urgent because Europe in 2016 experienced the most severe epidemics of wheat stem rust for more than 50 years, and the pre-existing population of wheat yellow rust has been replaced by invasive races of non-European origin.

RustWatch will explore the drivers shaping the new European wheat rust populations, assess their impact on agricultural productivity in the context of IPM Directive 2009/128/EC, and finally develop research and communication infrastructures including stakeholder networks and existing global networks.

RustWatch provides beyond state-of-theart research within new diagnostic tools, enabling rapid and precise identification of new invasive races, and investigating the impact of virulence, aggressiveness and adaptation to warmer temperatures as drivers of pathogen spread and establishment. The research has potential for a break-through in the area of host resistance phenotyping, e.g., by going beyond the observation of disease and categorize resistance responses at the cellular level. This phenotyping is essential for utilizing the vast amount of genomic sequence information produced by new emerging breeding technologies.

The early warning system for prevention and control of rust diseases will become implemented via case studies in five regions. The case studies will aid in development and validation of the systems in collaboration with a wide array of stakeholder groups, involve agricultural advisers in disease surveillance and sampling for later diagnosis, and collect information about potential barriers in adopting the system.

RustWatch engages 12 universities/research institutes, 5 agricultural advisory services, and 7 SMEs/industries.

Latest news

Latest article from RustWatch

Jørgensen, L.N.; Matzen, N.; Leitzke, R.; Thomas, J.E.; O’Driscoll, A.; Klocke, B.; Maumene, C.; Lindell, I.; Wahlquist, K.; Zemeca, L.; et al. Management of Rust in Wheat Using IPM Principles and Alternative Products. Agriculture 2024, 14, 821.

The RustWatch project started in May, 2018 and it ends in October 2022

Read more about WPs and activities here

Visit the Global Rust Reference Center (GRRC) home page here:

INTIA report about RustWatch and rust diseases impact in Spain

Valerie Cadot talks about the VCU role and achievements in RustWatch

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 773311