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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 #269174

Title: Evaluating perennial sunflower for wildlife and food uses

item KANTAR, MICHAEL - University Of Minnesota
item BETTS, KEVIN - University Of Minnesota
item STUPAR, ROBERT - University Of Minnesota
item Hulke, Brent
item WYSE, DONALD - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Sunflower Research Forum
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2011
Publication Date: 2/5/2011
Citation: Kantar, M.B., Betts, K., Stupar, R.M., Hulke, B.S., Wyse, D. 2011. Evaluating perennial sunflower for wildlife and food uses. Presentation at the Sunflower Research Forum, National Sunflower Association, January 19-21, 2011, Fargo, ND. Available:

Interpretive Summary: There is a need to develop sunflowers that are capable of regrowth year after year without planting seed every year (perennial types). This type of sunflower would minimize input costs for sunflower producers and improve the condition of the environment by stabilizing soil and decreasing erosion. It also has the advantage of being a minimal input crop to manage blackbird populations. We outline how we are attempting to integrate perennial habit into domesticated sunflower. This will benefit the sunflower producers and markets that are reliant on high quality, high yielding sunflower seed and sunflower seed products, because mitigation of blackbird damage is a concern with this crop and perennial habit may be useful in improving yields on marginal landscapes.

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. tuberosusis part of the secondary gene pool of sunflower and has been used as a donor of many disease resistance traits 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 away from commercial fields.