Healthy seeds are a prerequisite for sustainable food systems. The seed-borne plant disease, common bunt (CB) in wheat, caused by the fungi Tilletia tritici and T. laevis, is a major problem in agriculture. Efficient chemical seed treatments exist, but it is often difficult to keep up with autumn sowing and in organic agriculture, this is not an option. A sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative is to grow resistant or tolerant cultivars.
Over the last years, occurrence of common bunt in Sweden has increased significantly. In 2020, 42% of seeds intended for certification was infected with CB. For increased yields and food security, we must understand the contributing cause behind the increased CB problem in Sweden. Our goal is to identify the cause of the increase by studying 1) occurrence and distribution of Tilletia races in Sweden, 2) their genetic variation, and 3) resistance in wheat cultivars adapted for conventional and organic cultivation in Sweden.