2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To expand testing of experimental sunflower germplasm beyond the Red River Valley into areas where sunflower is currently produced on a large scale. This project will concentrate on efforts such as insect resistance and drought resistance, which are currently difficult to study in our current field testing capacity.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We plan to expand testing of germplasm for yield and other characteristics, such as insect resistance, disease resistance, and drought tolerance, by initiating work at additional field sites including but not limited to Carrington, ND, Prosper, ND, and Highmore, SD. The germplasms tested will contain genes for high yield, high oil, and special traits such as high oleic acid constitution, Sclerotinia resistance, downy mildew resistance, rust resistance, and resistance to various insect pests including the sunflower moth, the banded sunflower moth, the red sunflower seed weevil, the stem weevil, and the Dectes stem borer. Many of these special traits cannot be tested at our current work sites because the sites lack consistent infestation, a problem that would be overcome by additional testing sites. These sites are also more typical of the sunflower production region. The funding discussed in this agreement will support this research by providing assistance to defray increased travel costs, additional supply costs, and costs associated with a full-time Term technician and part-time student to help manage the additional sites and workload.
This project is in its final year. We have successfully established testing sites outside of the Red River Valley for use in assessing yield and other characteristics in the context of insect resistance and drought tolerance. This work has culminated into an assessment of genotype X environment interaction, the second of two years of this study is concluding this year. This assessment will determine the need for continued expanded field testing, and will also determine the areas that are most important to sample based on the data. This will allow our germplasm development program to pick environments for testing that optimize the amount of data obtained with quality and usefulness of the data.