Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research
Project Number: 3060-21000-039-13-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2016
The goal of this project is threefold: (1) to find new sources of Sclerotinia head rot resistance in cultivated sunflower germplasm; (2) and to transfer Sclerotinia stalk and head ot resistance by conventional breeding and marker-assisted selection (MAS) into elite USDA sunflower germplasm for release to the public. Specifically, the project will (1) evaluate new cultivated sunflower accessions of the USDA Plant Introduction Station’s seed collection for resistance to head rot; (2) use the phenotype data for head rot and stalk rot in association mapping; and (3) cross new sources of Sclerotinia resistance into elite oilseed and confection USDA germplasm.
To increase the genetic diversity of Sclerotinia resistance within the USDA breeding program, we will evaluate both the newest USDA Plant Introductions (which have not been tested for disease resistance) and seek new germplasm via exchanges with foreign public breeding programs. This evaluation needs to be done at research sites having irrigation facilities and Central Lakes College is one of the closest such university sites. Once new sources of stalk head rot resistance are identified, we will determine with the aid of MAS whether these contain new genes. Once resistance sources are identified, they will be crossed into either elite oilseed or confection lines.