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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Assessing Water and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Nsgc Core Accessions

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Identify NSGC accessions with enhanced nitrogen and water use efficiency (NUE, WUE) and determine the genetic basis of the traits using association mapping.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Single-plant selections from the NSGC barley and wheat core collections will be grouped by maturity and screened in the field under varying nitrogen and water levels using an augmented experimental design. Canopy spectral radiometry and yield will be used to measure NUE and WUE. Experiments will be conducted over 5 cropping seasons. SNP data will be generated for the accessions as part of the Triticeae CAP project and data will be used to explore the genetic basis of enhanced NUE and WUE within the accessions.


3.Progress Report:

This project relates to the parent project’s Objective 2: “Conduct genetic characterizations and phenotypic evaluations of wheat, barley, oats, rye, and other small grains and related wild species for priority genetic and agronomic traits.” Significant progress was made in the project during the past year. To assess drought and nitrogen use efficiency, 540 winter wheat accessions from the National Small Grains Collection core subset and five check varieties were planted in an augmented complete block design in a drip irrigation nursery at Aberdeen, Idaho. The design was replicated under three water/nitrogen (N) treatments: normal water and normal N, terminal drought and normal N, terminal drought and low N. Data were gathered and are being analyzed. The 540 spring wheat NSGC accessions evaluated in 2011 and 2012 are being analyzed for WUE and NUE using a technique known as genome wide association mapping. One PhD student is being trained in plant breeding through this project. About 100 hard white spring accessions were used in an association analysis to identify genetic mechanism controlling a quality defect trait and one manuscript is being developed for publication from this work. In addition, 200 of the six-row spring barley and 200 spring wheat accessions that were evaluated in 2012 are being tested in 2013 under terminal drought condition. The 200 spring wheat accessions includes all parental lines used in an nested association mapping population being developed through the Triticeae CAP project. All lines are being assessed using a new technique called canopy spectral reflectance at heading, flowering, and grain filling stages and assessed for grain yield and other agronomic traits. Finally, 600 additional 2-row barley accessions were planted for seed increase in preparation for testing in 2014.


Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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