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December 18, 2013 Meeting Minutes

SBARE Wheat Granting Committee
Northern Crops Institute, Fargo

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Brian O’Toole.  Voting members present were O’Toole, Mike Martin, Francis Leiphon, John Schatz, and Terry Borstad.  Non-voting members present were Mark Weber, Neal Fisher, Dr. Richard Horsley, Vance Taylor, and Jessie Bateman Pfaff.  Also present was Lori Capouch.

The committee began the meeting with a discussion of the Agricultural Research Fund, the challenges of its funding source and an overview of procedures used to distribute the funds.

The following presentations were made:

Identification of resistance sources for wheat root rot diseases
Researcher: Dr. Shaobin Zhong
Amount requested: $10,000/year

Root diseases are among the most common disease problems of wheat in North Dakota. They occur in every growing season and can cause as much as 3-5% crop losses in an average year. Losses may be greater in years with drought and hot weather conditions. However, effective methods for disease screening are lacking and the sources of host resistance are limited.  The objectives of this project are to 1) Develop fast and efficient methods for screening root rot diseases. 2) Understand the mechanisms involved in root rot disease development in wheat. 3) Identify resistance sources for root rot diseases in spring wheat.  We will test several methods for screening seedling reactions of wheat lines to the root rot pathogens and correlate them to their field resistance.  Fluorescent labeled fungal isolates will be used to study the disease development in planta. Diverse collections of wheat lines and commercially grown cultivars will be evaluated for reactions to the root rot pathogens using the effective methods developed. The information and results gained from this research project will be used to formulate effective disease management methods to reduce the impact of root diseases on wheat production in ND.

Characterization of the current race structure of Pyrenophoratritici-repentis, the causal agent of wheat tan spot in North Dakota
Researcher: Zhaohui Liu
Amount requested: $13,200/year

Pathogen populations are in a constant change due to several reasons, including selection pressure from the host, nature mutation and so on. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the pathogen population on a regular basis for its race structure, and more importantly to learn if a new virulent type is present. Pyrenophoratritici-repentis is the causal agent of wheat tan spot, a devastating disease in North Dakota. This fungus is capable of and also has a history of changing in virulence and genetic structure. The race structure of this pathogen population in North Dakota was analyzed more than a decade ago with isolates that were collected from limited geographic areas, which was not comprehensive and is now outdated. The researchers propose to conduct a comprehensive investigation of P. tritici-repentis population in North Dakota by systematic sampling of wheat plants in commercial fields across the state, followed by characterization of the race structure and evaluation of wheat lines and cultivars for their resistance to current virulent races. This research will not only provide vital information for developing and employment of resistant cultivars for tan spot resistance, but also have the potential to identify sources of tan spot resistance for breeding programs.

Characterization of Leaf and Stem Rust Resistance in Durum Wheat Germplasm
Researcher:  Maricelis Acevado
Amount requested:  $11,580 

Providing new sources of resistance that can broaden the genetic basis of rust resistance in adapted elite durum materials may reduce the chances of widespread rust epidemics in the future. Additionally, better understanding of the resistance genes in durum will provide a better utilization of resistance genes in all wheat market classes.

Developing Sm1 resistance in wheat to the orange wheat blossom midge
Researcher: Marion Harris
Amount requested:  $7,000

Every year North Dakota’s valuable wheat crop is under attack from an array of insect pests.  The orange wheat blossom midge has been one of the more significant pests in North Dakota wheat fields in the last 20 years. The sporadic nature of wheat midge outbreaks and their localized occurrence makes the wheat midge difficult to manage.  Insecticides can be effective but determining if and when to apply an insecticide can be problematic.  Because of these management difficulties we feel that North Dakota wheat growers would benefit from wheat varieties that are genetically resistant to insect attack.  By collaborating with the NDSU Plant Science Department we hope to use the Sm1 gene to develop wheat cultivars that provide a convenient low cost technology for managing the wheat midge.

Assessing ND Wheat Varieties and Germplasm for Waterlogging Tolerance
Researcher: Xinhua Jia
Amount requested:  $4,551

The main goal of this study is to identify wheat varieties that have good tolerance to excessive water conditions, and to help develop methods to test for new breeding lines possessing tolerance to excess water for incorporating into NDSU wheat breeding programs.

Evaluation of Whole Wheat Bread Quality from Hard Spring Wheat
Researcher: Senay Simsek
Amount requested: $7,500/year

Whole wheat bread is a standardized bread product in the US.  Popularity of whole wheat breads may be due to their appeal as sources of good nutritional value or their perception by the consumer as healthful products.  Incorporation of wheat bran into food matrices poses technical challenges for food manufacturers.  This study will investigate the whole what bread quality of HRS wheat grown in ND.  Additionally, researcher will try to develop the strategies to improve the baking quality of whole wheat flour produced from ND wheat. 

Funding Decisions

Dr. Richard Horsley abstained from participation in the funding decisions.

It was moved and seconded to grant negotiated funding as follows:

  1. $4,551 to the project titled “Assessing ND Wheat Varieties and Germplasm for Waterlogging Tolerance”.  The committee requested that Dr. Jia work with Dr. Mohamed Mergoum to collect genotype data to association mapping methods to find markers.
  2. $12,082 to the project titled “Characterization of the Current Race Structure of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, the Casual Agent of Wheat Tan Spot in North Dakota”.
  3. $11,500 to the project titled “Characterization of Leaf and Stem Rust Resistance in Durum Wheat Germplasm”.
  4. $7,000 to the project titled “Developing Sm1 resistance in wheat to the orange wheat blossom midge”.  The committee recommended that Dr. Harris connect with Dr. Mohamed Mergoum to integrate his lines in this work.
  5. $7,500 to the project titled “Evaluation of Whole Wheat Bread Quality from Hard Spring Wheat”.

The motion carried unanimously.

It was moved and seconded to deny funding for the project titled “Identification of resistance sources for wheat root rot diseases”.  In reviewing the submitted application, it was noted that the budget did not match the procedures proposed.  In addition, a progress report from last year’s results was not provided.

The motion carried unanimously.

Other Business

It was moved and seconded to nominate O’Toole as chair for next year.  The motion carried.

The committee suggested that Dr. Harris needs to include marker identification as part of the work.  They strongly encouraged that he works with Dr. Mergoum.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

January 31, 2011 Meeting Minutes

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Wheat Granting Committee

Northern Crops Institute, Fargo

The meeting was called to order by Brian O’Toole, alternate to Chairman Harlan Klein who was unable to attend the meeting.  Voting members present were O’Toole, Mike Martin, Greg Svenningsen, Mark Watne and Floyd Miller.  Non voting members present were Brian Sorenson, Brad Miller, Neal Fisher, Dr. Mohamed Mergoum and Vance Taylor.  Also present was Lori Capouch.

The meeting began with presentations of the pending proposals:

The effects of genotype and environment on the structure and functionality of arabinoxylans in hard white and hard red spring wheat
Researcher: Dr. Senay Simsek
Amount requested: $7,500

The genetic differences between wheat cultivars have a large impact on the quality and biochemical composition of wheat. Arabinoxylans are unique polysaccharides which are found in several cereal grains, including wheat. The researchers’ hypothesis is that the wheat genotype and growing location will affect the structure and functionality of hard white and hard red spring wheat arabinoxylans.

Developing an interactive, web-based variety selection tool for wheat
Researcher: Dr. Joel Ransom
Amount requested: $12,500

Every year variety trials for all classes of wheat grown in North Dakota are conducted in many locations across North Dakota.  Some of the data from these trials are summarized in variety selection guides that are published as a hard copy and are posted on the web.  Other trial data are published in annual reports by research extension centers and are usually posted on the web. In this project, the researcher will develop an interactive web-based tool that will allow the user to access all available data for a given variety, for all years for which it was included in trials. Since variety performance data are already available (but in diverse locations) and will continue to be developed by the research system, this project will focus on the development of the interface that will allow for quick access of data for varieties and locations selected by the user. This tool will be useable for all classes of wheat.

Verifying the profitability of fungicide use in western North Dakota on spring wheat and durum
Researcher: Dr. Joel Ransom
Amount requested: $12,765

Fungicide use on wheat has been increasing dramatically in North Dakota. Previously, most of the fungicide was applied in eastern North Dakota where yield potential tends to be higher and where the potential for losses due to Fusarium Head Blight are high. Fungicide is commonly used in western North Dakota at the time when herbicides are applied for the control of leaf spots. Recently, however, there has been more interest in the use of fungicides in western North Dakota later in the season because of better growing conditions the last two years, and because of the very profitable response that has been shown on winter wheat. Additional data on the effectiveness of fungicides on different varieties of durum and bread wheat would help farmers determine whether or not to use fungicide. Better understanding of factors that can help predict the profitability of fungicide use would be a further aid to farmers in managing the use of fungicides. As a result of this project farmers will better understand the risks and benefits of applying fungicides to wheat. This will potentially save farmers money and increase profits.

Strategies for maintaining grain protein in diverse spring wheat varieties
Researcher: Dr. Joel Ransom
Amount requested: $15,250

Maintaining high levels of grain protein has become an important component of profitable spring wheat production, particularly in the Red River Valley where yields have been increasing and new varieties vary considerably in their grain protein characteristics. During the last two years, protein content has been an issue also in western North Dakota as conditions were favorable for yield. The challenge of producing high levels of protein in high yield years, like 2009 and 2010 has been exacerbated by the use of higher yielding varieties with inherently lower grain protein levels. Growers have been asking for recommendations on how to improve the protein of these newer varieties, while maintaining yield and are seeking ways to do so profitably, given the high cost of nitrogen fertilizer and losses of soil N through leaching and denitrification. This project will develop methodology for predicting when in-season N management strategies should be employed in order to maintain high levels of grain protein in a range of currently available cultivars and to verify in-season techniques for achieving higher grain protein.

Development of hard red spring wheat cultivars resistant to saw fly
Researcher: Dr. Mohamed Mergoum
Amount requested: $12,000

Breeding research efforts on wheat with solid stem to resist wheat stem saw fly have resulted in the release of the hard red spring wheat cultivars “Mott” in 2009. In addition to its resistance despite having a lower level of stem solidity compared with other resistant cultivars, Mott is well adapted to the dry regions of North Dakota and Montana. This cultivar has performed very well in 2010. The goal of this project is to continue focusing on selecting and releasing hard red spring wheat cultivars that have high quality and yield performance under heavy infestation of saw fly. The specific objectives include 1) select adapted solid stemmed hard red spring wheat genotypes as potential cultivars, and 2) enhance the breeding program efforts to screen germplasm for different types of resistances, including solid stem, to the saw fly insect. The release of hard red spring wheat cultivars with saw fly resistance will allow the wheat growers in the “hot zone”, where the insect is epidemic, to substantially increase their wheat yield and quality which will allow them to improve their income. Similarly, the cultivars will produce better quality wheat that will benefit the wheat industry and keep out international wheat export market very competitive.

Providing the wheat growers with adopted spring wheat cultivars using efficient and rapid methods
Researcher: Dr. Mohamed Mergoum
Amount requested: $27,000

This project aims to use the modern technology tools including MAS techniques to incorporate rapidly and efficiently valuable traits such as quality traits and disease resistances into newly developed hard red spring wheat cultivars and to use previously used winter nurseries in New Zealand and Arizona and a new location in Puerto Rico to speed up the development of elite germplasm. Using both these approaches, researchers will increase their efficiency and will be able to hasten spring wheat cultivar development and release.

Cytogenetic analysis and transfer to winter wheat of shortened translocations carrying alien rust resistance genes
Researchers: Dr. G.F. Marais and Dr. X. Cai
Amount requested: $34,429

The rust diseases of wheat can be controlled effectively with the use of resistance genes. This is the most economical approach and does not harm the environment. However, the rust pathogens evolve constantly to overcome resistance genes in commercial varieties. Due to a scarcity of native wheat resistance genes, new resistance genes are routinely transferred from distant grass relatives of wheat. This is done using wide-hybridization and cross-breeding techniques that result in the co-transfer of undesirably large pieces of the alien donor chromosomes to related wheat chromosomes. The foreign chromosome regions often need to be tailored before they can be employed in breeding. This entails the systematic replacement of unneeded alien chromosome regions with corresponding wheat chromosome regions. When producing such chromosome exchanges, the shortened segments can be identified with the use of chromosome markers (unique stretches of DNA with known sequence). This study focuses on five different and highly effective alien resistance genes that were previously transferred to spring wheat. By employing a collection of cytogenetic techniques known as chromosome engineering shortened alien chromosome inserts that retained the resistance genes were identified. However, the resolution provided by the markers was insufficient to distinguish size differences between the very shortest inserts. The present study will rely on the use of chromosome painting to compare the relative sizes of the foreign inserts. Fluorescent dyes will be used to differentially color the alien and wheat chromosome regions and to identify the shortest and most useful versions of each resistance gene. The respective recombinants will simultaneously be transferred through cross-breeding into a winter wheat genetic background and used for variety development.

Optimizing control of wheat stem saw fly in North Dakota
Researcher: Dr. Janet Knodel
Amount requested: $12,315

The goal of this study is to develop sustainable pest management strategies for wheat stem sawfly. Wheat stem sawfly causes damage to wheat by larval feeding inside the stem, which reduces the number and weight of kernels. As the crop matures, larvae girdle the stems causing lodging and harvest problems. Recent field infestation levels of greater than 80 percent have been reported with yield losses of as much as 20 percent in western North Dakota. Yield loss caused to wheat has been estimated to exceed $60 million annually in the northern Great Plains. Host plant resistance using solid-stemmed wheat varieties has long been recognized as the best defense against this insect. This research proposes to quantify the degree of stem solidity necessary for resistance to wheat stem sawfly while maintaining acceptable yield and grain quality. Researchers will also develop a degree day model to forecast emergence of adult sawflies. In addition, a producer-friendly demonstration study will also be established in Mott to determine the effectiveness of sawfly-resistant wheat varieties for management of wheat stem sawfly in North Dakota.

Screening of spring and winter wheat germplasm for stripe rust resistance
Researcher: Dr. Maricelis Acevedo
Amount requested: $12,255

Wheat stripe rust has become an increasingly important disease in the southern Great Plains of the United States since 2000 due to the emergence of a new population of the pathogen. This new population is adapted to higher temperatures and produces more spores in a shorter period of time. In 2010 stripe rust was observed in many wheat varieties grown in North Dakota including popular winter and spring varieties. In the past, stripe rust has been rare in North Dakota due to less than ideal climate for disease development, but has been observed in years when severe epidemics are detected in states in the Central Great Plains. Because of the sporadic occurrence of stripe rust in the past, North Dakota wheat varieties have not been extensively screened for resistance. Due to the possibility of stripe rust becoming more prevalent in our area and the increased interest in expanding winter wheat production in the state, this proposed project will evaluate currently grown varieties and advanced lines from NDSU spring and winter breeding programs as well as a group of landrace accessions from USDA National Small Grain Collection for their reaction to races of stripe rust pathogen occurring in North Dakota. This information will be valuable for gene postulation and utilization in new wheat varieties with enhanced resistance to stripe rust.

Evaluation of durum wheat germplasm for resistance to new races of Puccinia triticina
Researcher: Dr. Maricelis Acevedo
Amount requested: $7,705

Leaf rust caused by Puccinia triticina is an important disease of durum wheat but in the last decades has not been a major problem for durum wheat production due to the use of resistant varieties. In 2001, a new race of leaf rust, highly virulent on durum wheat was detected in Mexico. By 2003 the leaf rust epidemics in Mexico had caused estimated losses of at least $32 million to Mexican wheat growers. This race and its variants are virulent on a large number of durum wheat cultivars from different breeding programs including those from the United States and Canada. Recently, races with similar virulence have been identified in southwestern United States and it is a concern that it may move to the Northern Great Plains where most of the United States durum is produced. Due to the historical movement and associated virulence changes of rust pathogen populations it is necessary to determine the current resistance status of durum wheat in our region and identify new sources of resistance that can be incorporated into NDSU’s durum wheat breeding program to expand the leaf rust resistance base. We propose to screen currently grown durum wheat cultivars and elite germplasm utilized in the NDSU durum wheat breeding program to obtain information about the existing resistance or vulnerability of locally-adapted durum wheat to new leaf rust races and how these materials can be better utilized in response to this new threat for durum wheat production.  In addition, by screening durum wheat landrace accessions from the USDA National Small Grain Collection new sources of resistance can be potentially identified, characterized and incorporated into new durum wheat varieties.

Developing durum wheat germplasm with low cadmium uptake
Researcher: Elias Elias
Amount requested: $33,100

Cadmium is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Cd and atomic number is 48. A relatively rare, soft, bluish-white transition metal, cadmium is known to cause cancer and occurs with zinc ores.  Cd is used largely in batteries and pigments, for example in plastic products. Cd is a toxic element which naturally occurs in all soils. Over time, if Cd is consumed more than the provisional tolerable weekly intake established by the work health organization it can increase the body burden of this toxic element and cause renal proximal tubular dysfunction. Populations that consume poor diets with low nutrients seem to be more effect by Cd intake than populations that consume healthy diets.

International marketing of grain to Northern European nations requires meeting strict Cd limits. Plant species and cultivars vary genetically in the ability to absorb and translocate Cd to edible crop parts. Sunflower, durum, and wheat flax are naturally higher in Cd than other grain crops. Chaney et al., 1997 reported a large variation in grain Cd concentrations in durum wheat grown in North Dakota. They also reported that breeding for low grain Cd in wheat is feasible. Developing durum wheat cultivars with low Cd uptake is essential to remain competitive in the international export market and provide healthy diet to consumers. Therefore the objective of this project is to develop durum wheat genotypes with low level of Cd uptake to be grown in North Dakota.

Decisions

It was moved by Svenningsen and seconded by Miller to remove the project titled “Developing durum wheat germplasm with low cadmium uptake” from consideration for funding by the SBARE wheat granting committee and refer the project to the North Dakota Wheat Commission for funding consideration.

The motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Watne and seconded by Martin to grant negotiated funding as follows:

  1. $7,500 to the project titled “The effects of genotype and environment on the structure and functionality of arabinoxylans in hard white and hard red spring wheat.”
  2. $9,451 to the project titled “Strategies for maintaining grain protein in diverse spring wheat varieties.”
  3. $12,000 to the project titled “Development of HRS wheat cultivars resistant to saw fly insect.”
  4. $20,000 to the project titled “Providing the wheat growers with adapted spring wheat cultivars using efficient and rapid methods.”
  5. $12,315 to the project titled “Optimizing control of wheat stem sawfly in North Dakota.”
  6. $10,000 to the project titled “Screening of spring and winter wheat germplasm for stripe rust resistance.”
  7. $5,000 to the project titled “Evaluation of durum wheat germplasm for resistance to new races of Puccinia triticina.”

The motion carried unanimously.

Other Business

The committee held a discussion regarding the addition of a member from the North Dakota Crop Improvement Association. Capouch will contact the Association to request the appointment of a member to this committee. The member will serve in an ex-officio capacity.

It was moved by Martin and seconded by Watne to appoint Klein to serve as chairman for the upcoming year. The motion carried unanimously.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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