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Value of resistance genes for controlling septoria tritici in high-yielding wheat varieties (PhD)

Project number
RD-2010-3730
PhD Supervisor
Prof. James Brown
Partners
Elsoms Seeds Ltd, Limagrain UK Ltd, Sejet Plant Breeding I/S, SW Seed Hadmersleben GmbH
Start Date
01/10/11
End Date
30/09/14
HGCA funding
£37,500

 

The problem

Despite recent success in eliminating highly susceptible varieties, Septoria tritici continues to be the major foliar disease of wheat in the UK. It is important for UK farmers to be able to grow wheat varieties which produce high yields even if the options for chemical disease control are greatly restricted. The data imply that some Septoria resistance genes are associated with reduced yield, thus selection for increased yield from 1980 to 2000 inhibited selection for Septoria resistance.  

Project aims

Genes which improve resistance to Septoria with no adverse impact on yield are of great value to wheat breeders and thus to farmers. This project will help identify genes that provide durable Septoria resistance without a yield penalty, ultimately providing farmers in the UK with wheat varieties which combine good resistance to Septoria with high yield and lower requirements for fungicide applications.

Approach 

Test the effects of the most important gene loci on Septoria resistance and related traits on yield and yield components, including green leaf duration, using Near Isogenic Lines.

Benefits to the industry

New EU regulations will significantly restrict the availability of fungicides from 2014, intensifying from 2019. The economic viability of UK farming and food security both in the UK and in our export markets depends on being able to maintain efficient production of wheat, so it is important for UK farmers to be able to grow wheat varieties which produce high yields even if the options for chemical disease control are greatly restricted. This project will contribute to the long-term improvement in the level of resistance to Septoria in wheat varieties while minimising undesired side-effects of disease resistance.

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