Filling gaps in wheat cultivar development with translational research

Posted on 06.02.2017 | Last Modified 22.02.2021
Lead Researcher (PI): Richard Cuthbert
Institution: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Total WGRF Funding: $2,622,000
Co-Funders: Agriculture Development Fund
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 5 Years

To deploy innovative technologies to genome wide selection of wheat variety development.

Project Summary:

Translation of upstream genetic technology into breeding applications is essential to the continued improvement of wheat cultivars adapted to western Canadian conditions. Advancing breeding methods will help improve cultivars to diseases such as Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) while maintaining grain quality and improving yield. Fusarium Head Blight, caused by Fusarium graminearum, is one of the most damaging diseases of wheat in Canada. It affects farmers profitability by reducing yield, reducing grain processing quality and by contaminating the grain with toxins. Through this project we were able to reduce the cost of characterizing the genetic make-up of progeny of crosses designed to increase resistance to diseases like Fusarium head blight while increasing grain yield with acceptable quality. Understanding the genetic of identity of progeny lines in a breeding program helps breeders to know which progeny lack potential and which progeny possess potential when field conditions are unfavourable. The progress made in this research will benefit breeding of Canada Western Red Spring wheat and Canada Western Amber Durum.