Expansion of in vitro selection to develop FHB and leaf spot resistant wheat and barley

Posted on 26.06.2017 | Last Modified 29.10.2020
Lead Researcher (PI): Nora Foroud
Institution: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Total WGRF Funding: $139,150
Co-Funders: Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Alberta Wheat Commission, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
Start Date: 2017
Project Length: 3 Years

To produce improved double haploid wheat and barley germplasm with high levels of resistance to fusarium head blight and DON accumulation, and to extend the use of in vitro selection technology to incorporate selection for tan spot resistance.

Project Summary:

Plant diseases are responsible for at least 10% of yield losses in global food production. Incidence and severity of two important cereal crop diseases, Fusarium head blight (FHB) and tan spot are increasing with the impacts of climate change. FHB is responsible for mycotoxin contamination of grains and both diseases lead to significant yield damage. It was recently determined that barley, which was thought to be inherently resistant to tan spot, is susceptible to a race of the pathogen that has been identified in Canada. We employed an in vitro selection method to produce wheat and barley germplasm to high levels of resistance to these diseases. Over this project we developed 4987 lines using breeder crosses, of which seed from 4165 lines were provided to the participating breeding programs. These lines are at different stages of the selection process towards cultivar registration, including a total of 21 wheat lines generated from this and the previous funding cycle which are currently in pre-registration or registration trials.