New Barley is Bad News for Russian Wheat Aphids
By Marcia Wood
December 8, 2008
Russian wheat aphids hoping to feed
and live comfortably on barley plants could be in for a big disappointment.
Thats if they choose to attack a new kind of barley known as RWA-1758,
which is highly resistant to the insect pest.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Bregitzer led the team that invested more than 10 years in developing and
testing this superior barley.
RWA-1758 offers barley growers in places like Montana, Colorado, and
Nebraskawhere infestations of the insect can be severean effective,
economical and environmentally sound way to quell the aphid. Cost-effective
chemical controls aren't available for combating the insect, according to
Bregitzer. He's based at the
Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho.
Bregitzer did the work with ARS plant geneticists
Obert at Aberdeen and
Mornhinweg in Stillwater, Okla., and Juliet Windes of the
University of Idaho-Aberdeen.
The plants lineage includes another ARS-developed barleyone
thats intended to be used as a parent, or breeding lineand a barley
chosen from among the hundreds of wild, rare and cultivated barleys in an
international collection maintained at Aberdeen by ARS curator and agronomist
The new barleys resistance stems from a source different from that
which protects "Burton," another barley from the Aberdeen laboratory.
Having two different types of resistance gives growers a backup against
aphids potential ability to overcome Burtons resistance, Bregitzer
RWA-1758 is whats known as a two-rowed spring barley, meant to be
planted in spring for late summer harvest. Its yields are on par with those of
"Baronesse," a popular, productive feed barley planted widely across
the Intermountain West.
Bregitzer and co-investigators described their work in an article published
earlier this year in the Journal of
The Aberdeen laboratory is a national leader in developing new barleys for
foods, malting and animal feeds.
Researchers and plant breeders can obtain small quantities of RWA-1758 seed
at no charge from Bregitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.