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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Research Project #416587


Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research

2010 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.

3. Progress Report
This project funds a technician and provides support for materials and supplies associated with expansion of the number of field testing sites for USDA sunflower germplasm. In 2010 we expanded the yield trials of experimental, pre-release germplasm from five locations to eight locations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. This is a significant increase from the single yield trial environment that was used prior to 2009. In 2008, testcross evaluation at all stages was conducted at Casselton, ND, and this statement is also true for the last two years, as well. However, in 2009, we added Banded Sunflower Moth resistant testcross evaluation at Prosper, ND, Red Sunflower Seed Weevil resistant testcross evaluation at Highmore, SD, and evaluation of near-release germplasm at Carrington, ND. In 2010, we added Sunflower Moth resistant testcross evaluations at Colby, KS, and Lubbock, TX; Sunflower Stem Weevil resistant testcross evaluation at Colby, KS; and early maturing testcross evaluation at Indian Head, SK, Canada. Progress on these evaluations will be given in presentations to the National Sunflower Association, as well as in peer-reviewed journals. Release of germplasm will also follow from this work. All work was done in collaboration with personnel that were local to the respective sites; however, Fargo staff was directly involved with each trial.

4. Accomplishments