Start Date: Jun 23, 2008
End Date: May 30, 2013
Production of high quality hard red or white winter wheat is limited by recurring intractable problems such as leaf rust, Fusarium head blight, Hessian fly, and heat stress during the grain filling period. In addition, new emerging problems such as stripe rust, stem rust, and Karnal bunt threaten the production or marketing of high quality grain. The first objective of this project is to develop adapted hard red or white wheat germplasm lines with improved resistance or tolerance to these problems. We will utilize existing sources and identify new sources of resistance, introgress them into desirable backgrounds, and then release them for use as parents of commercial cultivars. The second objective is to increase our understanding of the molecular basis of parasite virulence, host resistance, and stress tolerance to support strategic development and deployment of genetic resistance. Greater understanding of secreted virulence/avirulence effectors in the Hessian fly and the leaf rust pathogen may lead to better strategies for durability. Greater understanding of the mechanisms of durable rust resistance and heat tolerance may lead to discovery of new genes or alleles with complementary mechanisms and to optimized gene combinations in new cultivars. The third objective is to develop and apply phenotypic and genotypic selection technology for these traits to hard red or white winter wheat germplasm and cultivar development. This is an essential component of the technology transfer effort. Large-scale phenotypic screening data for Hessian fly and Karnal bunt resistance and genotypic marker data will be provided to cooperators.