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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #304438

Research Project: Sunflower Genetic Improvement with Genes from Wild Crop Relatives and Domesticated Sunflower

Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research

Title: Sunflower disease compendium: Sunflower botany

Author
item Seiler, Gerald

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2014
Publication Date: 5/1/2016
Citation: Seiler, G.J. 2016. Botany of the Sunflower Plant. In: Harveson, R.M., Markell, S.G., Block, C.C., Gulya, T.J. editors. Compendium of Sunflower Diseases and Pests. St. Paul, MN: APS Press. pp.4-11.

Interpretive Summary: Sunflower is the fifth largest oilseed crop grown in temperate and subtropical areas in 72 countries and on every continent, except Antarctica, facilitating the spread of pathogens. The number one challenge for growing sunflower globally is diseases. Sunflower is one of only a few crops to have originated in the United States. The genus Helianthus encompasses 52 species with 14 annual and 38 perennial. The presence of wild species in production areas has created a unique situation since the crop and its wild progenitors have co-evolved together in North America, exposing the crop to many diseases and insect pests that are native to the wild species. Wild species are adapted to a wide range of habitats and possess considerable genetic variability for many agronomic traits, especially for disease resistance genes. Sources of resistance or improved levels of tolerance for most diseases are available among the wild species of Helianthus. Genetic resources such as the wild sunflower species are the biological basis of global food security. Preservation of cultivars, landraces and wild relatives of sunflower provides the basic foundation to promote and sustain sunflower agriculture.

Technical Abstract: The number one challenge for global sunflower production is diseases. Sunflower is the fifth largest oilseed crop grown in temperate and subtropical areas in 72 countries and on every continent, except Antarctica. This has facilitated the spread of diseases globally. Disease control can be by chemicals or by durable genetic resistance. Sunflower is one of only a few crops to have originated in the United States. The genus Helianthus encompasses 52 species with 14 annual and 38 perennial. The presence of wild species in production areas has created a unique situation since the crop and its wild progenitors have co-evolved together in North America, exposing the crop to many diseases and insect pests that are native to the wild species. Wild species are adapted to a wide range of habitats and possess considerable genetic variability for many agronomic traits, especially for disease resistance genes. Sources of resistance or improved levels of tolerance for most diseases are available among the wild species of Helianthus. Most of the value also is derived from resistance genes for rust, downy mildew, Verticillium wilt, Alternaria leaf spot, powdery mildew, Phomopsis stem canker, Sclerotinia stalk and head rot, and broomrape. Genetic resources such as the wild sunflower species are the biological basis of global food security and provide the basic foundation to promote and sustain sunflower agriculture.