CAHNRS and WSU Extension

Wheat and Small Grains


Photo courtesy of Stephen Guy, Ph.D.

2015-2016 Wheat and Barley Research Progress Reports

Individual Reports

Weed Management in Wheat

Abstract: The Weed Science Program conducted a multidisciplinary field, greenhouse, and laboratory research project to address the critical issues that Washington wheat growers face. One aspect of this work was the evaluation of herbicides, both registered and nonregistered, for crop tolerance and weed control in wheat production systems.

Field Breeding Hard White and Red Winter Wheat

Abstract: One hard red winter wheat line was released in 2015. WA8180 is a standard-height hard red winter wheat targeted to the <12” rainfall zones of Washington.

Graduate Student Training

Abstract: The objective of this project is to establish graduate student projects that have direct impact on developing new cultivars for the state of Washington, while simultaneously recruiting and training the best students to be the future plant breeders of the world.

Increasing Genetics Opportunities for Stripe Rust Resistance

Abstract: Work has been completed identifying markers linked to Yr5.

Use of Biotechnology for Wheat Improvement

Abstract: We continued our effort to advance breeding lines as quickly and efficiently as possible by employing both molecular marker analysis and doubled-haploid technology.

Field Breeding Soft White Winter Wheat

Abstract: A new club cultivar, named Pritchett, was developed in coordination and collaboration with the USDA breeding program and approved for release in 2015. It was targeted to replace Bruehl, with improved disease resistance, yield potential, and cold hardiness.

Control of Wheat and Barley Rusts

Abstract: In addition to the major accomplishments and their impacts that will be described herein, this project results in genetic resources and techniques for further studying the biology and genetics of the pathogens and mechanisms of interactions between the pathogen and plants.

Wireworm Control in Wheat-Based Cropping Systems

Abstract: Major accomplishments of our team in FY 2016 include the following: 1) sampling 160 crop fields for wireworms, with over 3,200 wireworms collected and identified in total; 2) conducting trials for over 40 new insecticidal products for wireworm management at two locations in Washington state; 3) evaluating the effectiveness of Gaucho in protecting wheat from wireworms at 16 variety testing locations; 4) conducting large-scale experimental trials of the susceptibility of wheat, barley, and oats to wireworms; and 5) delivering over 25 extension talks on wireworms.

Club Wheat Breeding

Abstract: Pritchett, a new club wheat cultivar, has significantly better grain yield and grain test weight over multiple locations in <15-inch annual precipitation environments than Bruehl. It has better milling quality, producing larger diameter cookies and greater volume sponge cake than Bruehl, and it has highly effective adult plant resistance to stripe rust, moderate resistance to Cephalosporium stripe disease, and is more resistant than Bruehl to eyespot.

Evaluation and Selection for Cold Tolerance in Wheat

Abstract: Evaluating freezing tolerance is difficult in the field because snow cover, slope, available moisture, and soilborne diseases can all affect winter survival, and rating varieties can only be conducted once a year. We developed a screening system that can be conducted year-round, using the growth chambers at the WSU Wheat Plant Growth Facility.

Evaluation of Barley Varieties

Abstract: In 2015, the Cereal Variety Testing Program conducted 11 variety trials across Eastern Washington. The total number of individual barley plots evaluated was 1,188. Entries in the trials included submissions from every major barley breeding program in the Pacific Northwest.

Evaluation of Wheat Varieties

Abstract: In 2015, the Cereal Variety Testing Program conducted 21 soft winter, 12 hard winter, 16 soft spring, and 16 hard spring wheat variety trials across Eastern Washington. The total number of individual wheat plots evaluated was 7,344. Entries in the trials included submissions from 10 different breeding programs/cooperators.

Cultural Management of Soil Acidification and Aluminum Toxicity in Wheat-Based Systems of Eastern Washington

Abstract: Field trials with different rates (100-2000 lbs/ac of CaCO3) of surface applied fluid (NuCal) and dry lime (sugarbeet lime source) were established in fall 2013 on prairie (Conservation Farm and private farm near Pullman, WA) and forest (private farm near Rockford, WA) soil in long-term continuous no-till sites. Crop and soil responses to treatments were monitored.

Extension Education for Wheat and Barley Growers

Abstract: The Wheat and Small Grains website by the Extension Dryland Cropping Systems Team consolidates WSU Extension information on wheat and barley production and marketing. The project also supported the development of several decision support tools and calculators that help growers make more informed production and marketing decisions.

Quality of Varieties and Pre-Release Lines: Genotype and Environment—“G & E” Study

Abstract: The G&E project provides value to growers in two significant ways: 1) it documents and highlights the quality of varieties so that growers are aware of the importance of quality and will hopefully include quality in their seed-buying decisions; and 2) the data generated by the G&E study supports in a major way the analysis of new breeding lines and the WSU Variety Release process.

Supplemental Support for Assessing the Quality of Washington Wheat Breeding Samples

Abstract: This WGC support provides for about 3 months of technician time. The additional work is devoted to evaluating breeder samples for quality from late October through mid-January.

Improving Barley Varieties for Feed, Food and Malt

Abstract: One major accomplishment in 2015 was the successful release and continued success of one new, hulless, two-row, spring food barley variety, Havener (09WA- 265.5). Havener is the first hulless food barley release by the WSU Barley Breeding Program and addresses a need for higher yielding hulless varieties with an elevated β-glucan (a heart-healthy soluble dietary fiber) content.

Control of Strawbreaker Foot Rot (Eyespot) and Cephalosporium Stripe in Winter Wheat

Abstract: This is the only program where new varieties and advanced selections from all Pacific Northwest wheat breeding programs, public and private, are compared head-to-head against eyespot and Cephalosporium stripe.

Enhancing Resistance to Snow Mold Diseases in Winter Wheat

Abstract: Development of snow mold in field plots is not predictable and doesn’t occur every year in Washington. Consequently, we expanded the number of locations in Washington and began collaborating with Dr. Juliet Marshall, plant pathologist with the University of Idaho at Idaho Falls, to begin field testing at the Tetonia Research Center in southeastern Idaho.

Pre-breeding for Root Rot Resistance

Abstract: The aim of this project is to characterize resistance or tolerance to Rhizoctonia and other greenbridge-promoted diseases identified from several synthetic wheat lines and transfer the resistance to the cultivar Louise. This cultivar was selected because it has a relatively good root system already, and enhancing its resistance to Rhizoctonia would create a valuable germplasm asset for the breeding programs.

Management of Nematode Diseases with Genetic Resistance

Abstract: Over the last three years (2013, 2014, and 2015) we have screened over 300 lines from the Western Spring Regional Nursery in a field infested with cereal cyst nematode (H. filipjevi) near Colton, WA.

Fusarium Crown Rot on Wheat: Prebreeding and Development of Tools for Genetic Disease Management

Abstract: A mini-core collection of spring wheat germplasm has been developed and greenhouse screening has begun.

Improving Spring Wheat Varieties for the Pacific Northwest

Abstract: The WSU spring wheat breeding program is in a unique position to focus on grower opportunities and challenges, large and small. We identify and develop traits, technology, germplasm, and released varieties to meet the needs of the majority of Washington producers, whether the needs are localized or widespread. Our latest releases package excellent yields with superior quality and key yield protection traits.

Pre-breeding Pest Resistance, Agronomic and Grain Quality Traits for Spring Wheat Variety Development

Abstract: The objective of this project is to support/enable the most effective and efficient selection procedures for development of superior Washington spring wheat varieties. In addition to routine early-generation grain quality selection carried out through this project, we apply DNA marker technology to elite breeding materials, and are conducting several research projects of direct relevance to our breeding efforts.

Evaluation of WSU Wheat Breeding Lines for Management of Hessian Fly and Development of DNA Markers for Resistance Breeding

Abstract: Hessian fly infestations continue to cause significant annual yield losses in spring wheat production areas of Washington and neighboring regions of Oregon and Idaho. Hessian fly is in many ways a silent problem.

End-Use Quality Assessment of Washington State University Wheat Breeding Lines

Abstract: The majority of wheat from the Pacific Northwest is now being exported to overseas markets. To maintain current markets and recapture lost markets, Pacific Northwest wheat must possess quality characteristics that make it suitable for use in both domestic and overseas markets. Therefore, before it is released, a new variety must be tested to determine if it is suitable for use in specific end-use products.

A Genetic Arsenal for Drought Tolerance: Getting to the Root of the Problem

Abstract: Dryland farms in eastern Washington experience yield losses due to drought stress. Improving wheat root structure can help to resist such stresses by increasing access to water.

Developing Washington Wheat with Stable Falling Numbers (FN) through Resistance to Preharvest Sprouting and LMA

Abstract: The goal of this project is to breed for stable Falling Numbers in Washington wheat through selection for genetic resistance to preharvest sprouting and late maturity alpha-amylase.

Building a Mutation Breeding Toolbox for Washington Wheat

Abstract: This project created resources for forward and reverse genetics that can allow Washington wheat researchers to transfer knowledge about gene function into superior wheat cultivars.

Intelligent Prediction and Association Tool to Facilitate Wheat Breeding

Abstract: We assembled 40 traits collected from multiple fields over multiple years, and 60,000 genetic markers from DNA sequencing together, to predict the genetic potentials of 300 wheat lines.

Full Report

2015/2016 WSU Wheat and Barley Research Progress Reports

2014-2015 Research Progress Reports

Plant Protection

Variety Selection and Testing

Full Report

Wheat and Small Grains, P.O. Box 646420 Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6420, 509-335-1719, Contact Us
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