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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #253877

Title: The Development of Perennial Sunflower for Wildlife and Food Uses

item KANTAR, MIKEY - University Of Minnesota
item BETTS, KEVIN - University Of Minnesota
item STUPAR, BOB - University Of Minnesota
item Hulke, Brent
item WYSE, DON - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: World Wide Web
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2010
Publication Date: 3/2/2010
Citation: Kantar, M., Betts, K., Stupar, B., Hulke, B., Wyse, D. 2010. The Development of Perennial Sunflower for Wildlife and Food Uses. Poster presented at the 8th Annual Sclerotinia Initiative Meeting, January 20-22, 2010, Bloomington, MN. Available:

Interpretive Summary: This poster identifies the possibilities of using genes from wild perennial sunflower species to make the annual sunflower crop a perennial crop. This perennial sunflower can fit into multiple landscapes, but one potential use for it is in blackbird damage mitigation. Small plots of perennial sunflower could be used to divert blackbirds away from commercial crop fields and provide an alternate food source. Because they are perennial, there is little input cost, making this kind of program possible. The genetics of making a perennial sunflower are currently under investigation.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this research is to use current genetics and plant breeding techniques to introgress genes for perennial habit from Helianthus tuberosus L. (2n=6x=102) into domesticated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L., 2n=2x=34). H. tuberosus is part of the secondary gene pool of sunflower and has been used as a donor of many disease resistance traits, most notably Sclerotina resistance, making it an excellent donor for perennial habit. Because of previous success in gene transfer from H. tuberosus, we believe we will be successful in transferring perennial habit into annual sunflower, thus creating a perennial sunflower with high enough yield to attract blackbirds and divert them from commercial fields.