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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #434294

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Nutritional Quality in Hard Winter Wheat

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

Project Number: 3020-21000-011-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 26, 2018
End Date: Mar 25, 2023

Objective:
OBJECTIVE 1: Strategically characterize wheat genetic resources for priority traits including resistance to damaging fungal pathogens (stripe rust, leaf rust, stem rust, Fusarium head scab), resistance to viruses, resistance to Hessian fly, tolerance to heat and drought stress, and nutritional quality. Subobjective 1A: Characterize wheat genetic resources for resistance to stripe rust, leaf rust, and stem rust. (Bowden, Guttieri) Subobjective 1B: Characterize wheat genetic resources for resistance to Fusarium head blight. (Bai) Subobjective 1C: Characterize wheat genetic resources for resistance to Wheat streak mosaic. (Fellers, Guttieri) Subobjective 1D: Characterize wheat genetic resources for resistance to Hessian Fly. (Chen, Guttieri). Subobjective 1E: Characterize wheat genetic resources for improved nutritional quality traits. (Guttieri) OBJECTIVE 2: Efficiently and effectively incorporate genetic traits into high yielding winter wheat germplasm, and distribute germplasm to the breeding community. Subobjective 2A: Incorporate resistance to stripe rust, leaf rust, and stem rust. (Guttieri, Bowden) Subobjective 2B: Incorporate resistance to Fusarium head blight. (Bai, Guttieri) Subobjective 2C: Incorporate resistance to Wheat streak mosaic. (Guttieri, Fellers) Subobjective 2D: Incorporate resistance to Hessian Fly. (Guttieri, Chen) Subobjective 2E: Incorporate tolerance to heat and drought stress. (Guttieri) Subobjective 2F: Incorporated improved nutritional quality traits. (Guttieri) OBJECTIVE 3: Develop efficient molecular marker technologies for genetic traits and transfer these technologies to the breeding community. Subobjective 3A: Develop new trait-specific SNP markers for important genes. (Bai) Subobjective 3B: Develop new genome-wide multiplexed amplicon sequencing assay and imputation protocols for important genes. (Bioinformaticist, Bai, Guttieri) Subobjective 3C: Transfer genotyping data and information to the breeding community. (Bai, Bioinformaticist) OBJECTIVE 4: Characterize molecular foundations of critical plant-microbe and plant-insect interactions toward development of effective and durable host plant resistance. Subobjective 4A: Characterize molecular foundations of virulence and resistance for Hessian fly. (Chen) Subobjective 4B: Characterize molecular foundations of virulence and resistance for leaf rust. (Fellers)

Approach:
Production of hard winter wheat is limited by recurring intractable problems including diseases, insects, heat, and drought stress. Both nutrient deficiencies and antinutrient excesses affect nutritional quality of wheat products. Our first objective is to identify germplasm with improved resistance to leaf rust, yellow rust, stem rust, Hessian fly, Fusarium head blight, and viruses; improved tolerance to heat and drought stress; as well as increased iron and zinc and lower phytate and cadmium concentrations. The second objective is to transfer these traits into adapted backgrounds and release new germplasm for use as parents in cultivar development. Innovative male-sterile approaches will be used to efficiently construct disease resistance gene pyramids in adapted backgrounds and to isolate coupling-phase recombinants. We will launch a novel full-season wheat recurrent selection project to extend floral initiation and grain filling while maintaining test weight and yield under heat stress. The third objective is to develop more efficient wheat breeding techniques using high-throughput genotyping technologies and large-scale data mining techniques. New allele-specific PCR assays, multiplexed amplicon sequencing assays, and genomic databases will be developed and used to characterize breeding material for the presence of genes of interest. Phenotype and genotype data will be distributed to the breeding community through USDA-supported databases. The fourth objective is to characterize the molecular basis for interaction between wheat plants and leaf rust or Hessian fly. Greater understanding of avirulence effectors in the Hessian fly and the leaf rust pathogen may lead to better strategies for durable resistance.