Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #424855

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Hard Winter Wheat to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

2014 Annual Report


4. Accomplishments
1. Genes for resistance to Fusarium head blight mapped in new Chinese source of resistance. Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease of wheat worldwide. Growing resistant cultivars is the most effective strategy to control the disease. ARS researchers at Manhattan, KS genetically mapped resistance genes in a population developed from a cross between the highly resistant Chinese landrace ‘Huangcandou’ and ‘Jagger’, a moderately susceptible hard red winter wheat from Kansas. Marker analysis identified three genes from Huangcandou and two from ‘Jagger’ that were associated with scab resistance. Markers associated with the resistance genes were identified and can be used to enhance scab resistance in wheat breeding programs.

2. Study identifies the most effective wheat resistance genes for the Hessian fly. The Hessian fly is a major pest of wheat, and is controlled mainly through deploying resistant wheat cultivars. Change in Hessian fly populations in the field is often rapid and wheat cultivars may lose resistance within 6-8 years. To ensure continuous success of host plant resistance, Hessian fly populations in the field need to be constantly monitored to determine which resistance genes remain effective in different geographic regions. ARS researchers and university colleagues investigated five Hessian fly populations collected from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, where infestation by Hessian fly has been high in recent years. Eight resistance genes including H12, H13, H17, H18, H22, H25, H26, and Hdic, were found to be highly effective against all tested Hessian fly populations in this region, conferring resistance to 80% or more of plants containing one of these resistance genes. This information will help breeders select the best combinations of genes to control Hessian fly.

3. Resistance in wheat to Hessian fly is surprisingly temperature-sensitive. The Hessian fly is a major pest of wheat and is mainly controlled using resistant wheat cultivars. However, the host resistance strategy is generally less successful in the southern U.S. ARS researchers at Manhattan, KS discovered that different temperatures have a profound impact on Hessian fly resistance in selected wheat cultivars from the Great Plains. Many wheat cultivars that are fly-resistant at 20 ºC become susceptible at higher temperatures, and many other cultivars that are fly-susceptible at 20 ºC become resistant at a lower temperature. This finding is significant in several respects. First, this information is important for wheat growers to make cultivar decisions according to historical temperatures in their regions. Second, the loss of fly-resistance in wheat plants at higher temperatures poses a threat for future success of the host resistance strategy due to global climate change. Third, many cultivars that were classified as fly-susceptible according to standard screening criteria are actually resistant at historical average temperatures in the Great Plains area during the wheat growing season. The impact of wheat cultivars with fly-resistance at low temperatures needs to be evaluated further.

4. New sources of resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus found in synthetic hexaploid wheat. Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) is a serious wheat pathogen that causes stunting, with yellow streaks in the leaves, while reducing the yield of the crop. Unfortunately, there are few resistance genes available for WSMV. ARS researchers at Manhattan, KS screened more than 400 synthetic hexaploids, which are hybrids of a wild species, (Aegilops tauschii) and durum wheat. Four lines were found to have resistance to WSMV. These four lines can now be used as parental lines to transfer the resistance into adapted hexaploid wheat lines.

5. New molecular markers found for resistance to soil-borne wheat mosaic virus. Soil-borne wheat mosaic virus (SBWMV) disease can significantly reduce grain yield by up to 80% in winter wheat in the Great Plains. Developing resistant wheat cultivars is the only feasible strategy to reduce the losses. ARS researchers in Manhattan, KS analyzed an association mapping population of 205 winter wheat accessions from the U.S.A. using wheat single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips and identified six new SNP markers that were significantly associated with the SBWMV resistance gene on chromosome 5D. These new markers are being used for marker-assisted selection of wheat resistance to SBWMV.

6. Study of secreted proteins gives clues to foil the wheat leaf rust fungus. Puccinia triticina is the fungus that causes wheat leaf rust, which is one of the most important wheat diseases worldwide. After the fungus enters the plant, special fungal structures called haustoria begin to secrete proteins (called effectors) that are thought to inhibit the defense response of the plant and facilitate parasitism by the fungus. Some of the secreted effector proteins may be recognized by plant resistance genes and may trigger strong race-specific plant defenses. Therefore, secreted proteins are the key to understanding the interaction between the host and the pathogen. ARS researchers in Manhattan, KS used RNA sequencing to identify the proteins that are secreted by six races of the fungus during infection. Differences in secreted proteins between the races were correlated with race specificity and 15 candidate effectors for controlling race specificity were identified. Strategies that target these effector genes may lead to more durable resistance.

7. Four new wheat cultivars were co-developed by ARS and universities. New wheat cultivars are needed by producers to maintain and increase yield and grain quality. In collaboration with Colorado State University, Kansas State University, and Oklahoma State University, ARS researchers participated in the development and registration of four new wheat cultivars for the Great Plains including cultivars ‘Antero’, ‘Clara’, ‘Cowboy’, and ‘Mattern’. In addition, near isogenic winter wheat germplasm lines contrasting for the presence of Fhb1, a gene for resistance to Fusarium head blight, were registered and released. These new high yielding cultivars and germplasm lines are now available for wheat producers, breeders, and geneticists.


Review Publications
Momcilovic, I., Fu, J. 2013. Protein synthesis alongation factors EF-Tu and eEF1A: biosynthesis, functions and application in the improvement of heat tolerance in plants. In: Bethaz, C., Puma, V.L., editors. New Research on Protein Synthesis. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers. p. 1-49.

Bernardo, A., Bai, G., Yu, J., Kolb, F., Bockus, W., Dong, Y. 2014. Registration of near-isogenic winter wheat germplasm contrasting in Fhb1 for fusarium head blight resistance. Journal of Plant Registrations. 8:106-108.

Lui, H., Bayer, M., Druka, A., Russell, J., Hackett, C., Poland, J.A., Ramsay, L., Hedley, P., Waugh, R. 2014. An evaluation of genotyping by sequencing (GBS) to map the Breviaristatum-e (ari-e) locus in cultivated barley. Biomed Central (BMC) Genomics. 15:104.

Zhang, X., Fu, J., Hiromasa, Y., Pan, H., Bai, G. 2013. Differentially expressed proteins associated with Fusarium head blight resistance in wheat. PLoS One. 8(12):e82079.

Jin, F., Bai, G., Zhang, D., Dong, Y., Ma, L., Bockus, W., Dowell, F.E. 2014. Fusarium-damaged kernels and deoxynivalenol in Fusarium-infected U.S. Winter Wheat. Phytopathology. 104(5):472-478.

Bruce, M.A., Neugebauer, K.A., Joly, D.L., Bakkeren, G., Migeon, P., Wang, S., Akhunov, E., Cuomo, C.A., Fellers, J.P., Kolmer, J.A. 2014. Using transcription of six Puccinia triticina races to identify the secretome during infection of wheat. Frontiers in Plant Science. 4:520.

Haley, S., Johnson, J., Peairs, F., Stromberger, J., Hudson-Ams, A., Seifert, S., Valdez, V., Kottke, R., Rudolph, J., Bai, G., Chen, X., Bowden, R.L., Jin, Y., Kolmer, J.A., Chen, M., Seabourn, B.W., Dowell, F.E. 2014. Registration of 'Antero' Wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. doi: 10.3198/jpr2013.12.0072crc.

Cai, J., Bai, G. 2014. Quantitative trait loci for Fusarium head blight resistance in Huangcandou x 'Jagger' wheat. Crop Science. DOI:10.20135/cropsci2013.12.0835.

Liu, S., Yang, X., Zhang, D., Bai, G., Chao, S., Bockus, W. 2014. Genome-wide association analysis identified SNPs closely linked to a gene resistant to Soil-borne wheat mosaic virus. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 127:1039-1047.

Liu, S., Rudd, J.C., Bai, G., Haley, S.D., Ibrahim, A., Xiu, Q., Hays, D.B., Graybosch, R.A., Devkota, R.N., St Amand, P. 2014. Molecular markers linked to genes important for Hard Winter Wheat production and marketing in the U.S. Great Plains. Crop Science. 54:1304-1321. DOI:10.2135/cropsci2013.08.0564.

Hunger, R., Edwards, J., Bowden, R.L., Yan, L., Rayas-Duarte, P., Bai, G., Horn, G., Kolmer, J.A., Giles, K., Chen, M., Jin, Y., Osburn, R., Bales, M., Seabourn, B.W., Klatt, A., Carver, B. 2013. 'Billings' wheat combines early maturity, disease resistance, and desirable grain quality for the Southern Great Plains of the USA. Journal of Plant Registrations. 8:22-31.

Barkley, A., Tack, J., Nalley, L.L., Bergtold, J., Bowden, R.L., Fritz, A. 2013. Weather, disease, and wheat breeding effects on Kansas wheat varietal yields, 1985 to 2011. Agronomy Journal. 106:227-235.

Martin, T.J., Zhang, G., Fritz, A.K., Miller, R., Chen, M. 2014. Registration of 'Clara CL' Wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 8(1):38-42.

Garces-Carrera, S., Knutson, A., Wang, H., Giles, K.L., Huang, F., Whitworth, R.J., Smith, C.M., Chen, M. 2014. Virulence and biotype analyses of Hessian Fly (Mayetiola destructor) populations from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(1):417-423.

Chen, M., Wheeler, S., Wang, H., Whitworth, J.R. 2014. Impact of temperatures to Hessian Fly resistance of selected wheat cultivars in the Great Plains Region. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(3): 1266-1273.

Cheng, Y., Wang, Q., Li, Z., Cui, J., Hu, S., Zhao, H., Chen, M. 2013. Cytological and comparative proteomic analyses on male sterility in Brassica napus L. induced by the chemical hybridization agent monosulphuron ester sodium. Arthropod-Plant Interactions. 8(11): e80191.

Currie, Y., Moch, J., Underwood, J., Kharabsheh, H., Quesenberry, A., Miyagi, R., Thomas, C., Boney, M., Wood, S., Chen, M., Zhu, L. 2014. Transient heat-stress compromises the resistance of wheat seedlings to Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) infestation. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(1):389-395.

Anathakrishnan, R., Sinha, D., Murugan, M., Zhu, K., Chen, M., Zhu, Y., Smith, C.M. 2014. Comparative gut transcriptome analysis reveals differences between virulent and avirulent biotypes of the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia. Arthropod-Plant Interactions. 8(2):79-88.

Chen, M., Wheeler, S., Davis, H., Whiteworth, J.R., Knutson, A., Giles, K.L., Skinner, M. 2014. Molecular markers for identification of Hessian fly males caught on pheromone traps. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(3):1110-1117.

Haley, S., Johnson, J., Peairs, F., Stromberger, J., Hudson-Arns, E., Seifert, S., Kottke, R.A., Valdez, V.A., Nachtman, J.J., Rudolph, J.B., Bai, G., Chen, X., Bowden, R.L., Jin, Y., Kolmer, J.A., Chen, M., Seabourn, B.W. 2014. Registration of 'Cowboy' wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 8:169-172.

Graybosch, R.A., Baenziger, P.S., Dantra, D., Regassa, T., Jin, Y., Kolmer, J.A., Wegulo, S., Bai, G., St Amand, P., Chen, X., Seabourn, B.W., Dowell, F.E., Bowden, R.L., Marshall, D.S. 2014. Release of ‘Mattern’ waxy (amylose-free) winter wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 8:43-48.

Eckard, J., Gonzales-Hernandez, J., Chao, S., St Amand, P., Bai, G. 2014. Construction of dense linkage maps "on the fly" using early generation wheat breeding populations. Molecular Breeding. DOI:10.1007/s11032-014-0116-1.

Basnet, B.R., Ibrahim, A.H., Chen, X., Singh, R.P., Mason, E.R., Bowden, R.L., Liu, S.Y., Devkota, R.N., Subramanian, N.K., Rudd, J.C. 2014. Molecular mapping of stripe rust resistance QTL in hard red winter wheat TAM 111 adapted in the US high plains. Crop Science. 54:1361-1373.

Bansal, R., Hulbert, S., Reese, J., Whitworth, R.J., Stuart, J., Chen, M. 2014. Pyrosequencing reveals the predominance of Pseudomonadaceae in gut microbiome of a Gall Midge. Pathogens. 3(2):459-472.

Zhang, D., Bowden, R.L., Yu, J., Carver, B., Bai, G. 2014. Association analysis of stem rust resistance in U.S. Winter Wheat. PLoS One. 9(7): e103747.

Baenziger, P.S., Graybosch, R.A., Regassa, T., Klein, R., Kruger, G.R., Santra, D.K., Xu, L., Rose, D., Wegulo, S., Jin, Y., Kolmer, J.A., Hein, G.L., Chen, M., Bai, G., Bowden, R.L., Poland, J.A. 2014. Registration of ‘NE06545’ (husker genetics brand freeman) hard red winter wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 8:279-284. DOI: 10.3198/jpr2014.02.0009crc.