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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #436911

Research Project: Screening Barley Germplasm to Discover Genes Conferring Durable Resistance to Barley Stripe Rust

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

Project Number: 2050-21000-038-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2019
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

Discover, characterize, develop, and deploy effective resistance against barley stripe rust (BSR) (incited by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. hordei) to protect U.S. barley production via the following activities: 1) Conduct a coordinated germplasm evaluation effort involving USDA-ARS Aberdeen and Pullman; Oregon State University, Corvallis; and University of California, Davis; 2) Discover new resistance quantitative trait locus (QTL) via analysis of data from germplasm evaluation and leverage T-CAP association mapping data results for BSR; 3) Introgress current barley stripe rust resistance QTL into elite breeding populations via marker assisted selection (MAS). This funding will enhance research on Objective 1: “Develop barley and oat germplasm with increased yield, better quality, and superior or novel resistances to biotic and abiotic stresses” and Objective 2: “Translate new, sequence-based information into breeder-friendly tools for crop improvement in barley and oats” by identifying new molecular genetic markers suitable for marker-assisted selection and releasing improved barley germplasm with higher disease resistance.

Coordinate germplasm assembly, testing protocols, and final data analysis and dissemination. Test germplasm, using a set of materials, phenotyping protocols, and experimental designs that are common to the three test locations (Davis, CA; Mt. Vernon, WA; and Corvallis, OR). Phenotyping will be done in single-row plots using procedures that are standard at each location. Susceptible spreader rows composed of susceptible varieties, and artificial inoculation (if warranted) will be used to facilitate infection. Minimum data: barley stripe rust severity at one assessment date, heading date, other diseases. Disease samples will be sent to the USDA-ARS Pullman lab for race identification. Several categories of germplasm will be evaluated: (A) PNW BSR screening trial: This nursery, including checks, will consist of a minimum of 40 entries composed of mixture of new and previously-tested entries from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington public breeding programs, resistant and susceptible checks, and a set of differentials. This trial will be grown at each location using a minimum of three replicates. (B) Novel germplasm/population screening: These nurseries, consisting of GWAS panels and bi-parental populations, will be used to identify new sources of resistance and to elucidate the genetics of barley stripe rust resistance. The materials will be assessed using Type II augmented designs or two replicate complete block designs. In collaboration with personnel at Aberdeen, we will introgress newly discovered QTL alleles into adapted germplasm, assess performance, and select and deploy germplasm with improved combinations of agronomic performance, malting quality, and resistance to barley stripe rust. Data and analyses will be posted at When sufficient data are generated, manuscripts will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The Barley Pest Initiative: This new initiative will allow us to expand our breeding for resistance to other diseases, with a focus on scald (a disease most prevalent in wet environments) and fusarium crown rot (a disease most prevalent in dry environments). For scald, we will generate baseline data for disease severity and heading date QTLs on GWAS panels comprised of elite germplasm and selected resistance sources. Heading date is a key phenotype because the early flowering may promote higher levels of disease. In future cycles, and with additional support, we will expand scald research to characterize interactions of the disease with abiotic stresses, such as soil compaction, and to explore the relationship of disease development and phenology on a subset of selected materials. In the winter wheat-fallow production system of the dryland PNW, cultural plant disease management is the most affordable strategy for preventing yield loss due to soilborne diseases. We will investigate practical aspects of cultural disease management for barley (e.g. seeding rate, starter fertilizer rate) and opportunities to utilize barley to break cycles of soilborne disease on the subsequent wheat crop.