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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Research Project #434261

Research Project: Improvement of Biotic Stress Resistance in Durum and Hard Red Spring Wheat Using Genetics and Genomics

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-038-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 1, 2018
End Date: Feb 28, 2023

OBJECTIVE 1: Identify novel sources of disease and pest resistance in durum wheat and goatgrass to enhance crop resilience. OBJECTIVE 2: Map and characterize novel genes governing resistance/susceptibility to tan spot, Septoria nodorum blotch, stem rust, and Hessian fly in wheat and goatgrass to develop the knowledge and tools for their deployment in the development of wheat varieties with improved resistance. OBJECTIVE 3: Characterize genetic mechanisms associated with wheat-pathogen interactions to increase our understanding and knowledge of the biological mechanisms associated with resistance and susceptibility. OBJECTIVE 4: Utilize and develop genetic resources and molecular tools for the improvement of wheat and provide genotyping services to expedite the development of improved wheat, barley and oat varieties. OBJECTIVE 5: Genetically improve barley by the application of molecular genetics and genomics to increase resistance to head and foliar diseases such as Fusarium head blight, net blotch and spot blotch.

Durum, hard red spring wheat (HRSW) and barley varieties with improved resistance to diseases and pests are needed to meet the demands of the world’s growing population. This challenge must be met through the discovery, characterization, and deployment of genes for resistance to biotic stresses. In this project, we will identify new sources of resistance to Septoria nodorum blotch, tan spot, and stem rust in durum, to Hessian fly in goatgrass, and to Fusarium head blight and spot-form net blotch in barley. Molecular mapping and genetic analyses will be used to identify and characterize genes and quantitative trait loci governing resistance to tan spot, Septoria nodorum blotch, stem rust, Fusarium head blight and spot-form net blotch. This work will yield knowledge of the genetic mechanisms controlling these traits, the development of markers for marker-assisted selection, and genetic stocks and germplasm useful for gene deployment. Additional work on the molecular characterization of the genes and genetic pathways associated with wheat/barley-pathogen interactions will be conducted as part of this project and will yield basic knowledge useful for devising novel strategies for developing disease and pest resistant varieties. Finally, genetic resources and tools for the development of improved wheat, durum and barley cultivars will be generated, including stocks for the genetic analyses of Septoria nodorum blotch susceptibility genes and Hessian fly resistance genes, adapted germplasm with low cadmium and resistance to sawfly, Fusarium head blight, and stem rust, and a reference sequence-based genetic map for durum wheat. In addition, genotyping services will be provided to regional wheat, durum, barley, and oat breeders to expedite the development of improved varieties.