This cereal is unique to Ethiopia where it is used for the production of the staple dish 'njera'. It is also an excellent fodder crop. The self-pollinated flowers are very small and this makes cross-pollination extremely difficult. Not recommended for amateur breeders . Ergotism
The human disease caused by the ingestion of poisonous ergots. The symptoms of ergotism are a constricting of the blood vessels which can lead to gangrene, abortion in pregnant women, and death. Before the discovery of the cause of this disease, ergots were common in rye produced in a wet summer, and ergotism was a powerful incentive for the cultivation of potatoes in the rye districts of Europe, particularly in eastern Germany, Poland, and western Russia. Today, ergots are recognised and easily separated from rye before milling. They have a market value in the pharmaceutical industry as an aid to childbirth. Ergots
Toxic black bodies produced in rye by the fungus Claviceps purpurea. Toxic ergots are also produced by Claviceps penniseti in bulrush millet. When ingested, ergots are the cause of the human disease ergotism. Erosion of horizontal resistance
A quantitative loss of horizontal resistance. There are four categories of erosion. (1) A host erosion results from genetic changes in the host. This can occur during the cultivation of a genetically flexible crop, but not during the cultivation of a genetically inflexible crop. It can also occur during the breeding of any crop in the absence of a parasite, particularly if the screening population is protected by a functioning vertical resistance or by a pesticide. It is then known as the vertifolia effect. (2) An environment erosion results when a cultivar is taken from an area of low epidemiological competence, and is cultivated in an area of high epidemiological competence. (3) A parasite erosion results from genetic changes in the parasite. This is important only occasionally, and only with facultative parasites. (4) A false erosion results from sloppy experimental work, when a cultivar thought to be resistant is later found to be susceptible.
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