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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Research Project #444149

Research Project: Identification and Management of Diseases in Wild Rice Infecting Wheat and Oat

Location: Plant Science Research

Project Number: 5062-21000-034-003-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Jun 30, 2028

1. Identify fungal and bacterial pathogens of small grain crops that infect cultivated wild rice. 2. Identify new fungicides and best agronomic practices for control of fungal diseases. 3. Develop wild rice germplasm with improved resistance to diseases affecting small grain crops.

Three to five fungicides will be tested in on-farm trials. A DJI N3-Ag spray drone with GPS-based automated flight planning will apply treatments. Quantitative disease will be scored and , g rain yield data will be collected. On-farm trials with a combination of three nitrogen and fungicide timing applications will be done. Each year, surveys for fungal and bacterial diseases will be done. Symptomatic material will be brought to the laboratory for pathogen isolation and identification. Host range will be tested on wild rice cultivars with varying levels of disease resistance, wheat, oat, and common grasses found near fields. Two genotypes with contrasting disease responses will be tested under controlled- environmental conditions. T-tests will be used to compare the phenotypic variation of disease severity, lesion number, and lesion size at each time point between the two genotypes. A DNA-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay will be developed to identify and quantify samples of Bipolaris oryzae and B. sorokiniana, to help monitor fungal populations in growers’ fields to improve recommendations for the timing of fungicide. To develop the assay, species-specific genes will be selected from sets of genes previously used to develop similar fungal PCR assays. The assay will be tested with artificially infected and non-infected control plants grown in a greenhouse. Leaf pieces with disease symptoms will be collected, total DNA extracted, and used in the assay. Phenotypic recurrent selection will be used to identify plants with fungal brown spot resistance for controlled crosses, for genotyping, and for identifying gene transcripts in the host and pathogens.