Characterize new sources of FHB resistance and introgress it into Saskatchewan elite wheat cultivars

  • Term: 4 years, beginning in 2017

  • Funding Amount: $ 196,670

  • Lead Researcher(s): Ravindra Chibbar (University of Saskatchewan)

  • Funding Partners: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Project Description

This proposed research focuses on identifying new genetic resources for Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance in wheat and on developing FHB resistant wheat germplasm to combat FHB infection.

FHB is one of the major diseases of wheat and other cereals. The increasing FHB progression over the years in Canada is a matter of great concern to grain producers, scientists and government. The long-term objective is to develop FHB resistant wheat germplasm with no or minimal yield penalty and grain with minimal or no deoxynivalenol (DON). The objectives are to evaluate FHB resistance of wheat lines identified from SCDV (spike culture derived variants) population against different FHB chemotypes; to characterize target gene(s) conferring FHB resistance; to develop DNA based perfect markers for use in tracking FHB resistance; to introgress FHB resistance in to CWRS (Canada Western Red Spring) cultivars to develop FHB resistant wheat cultivars; to assess the suitability of marker assisted selection and in vitro spike culture technique to accelerate the breeding program; to utilize “Omics” technologies to identify novel candidate genes/proteins/metabolites and to understand the FHB resistance mechanism and develop novel diagnostic markers for FHB resistance in wheat. To confirm the FHB resistance in new genetic resources, these will be tested in Fusarium nurseries in Saskatoon and Carmen, Manitoba.

The proposed strategy will accelerate the development of FHB resistant wheat varieties that can combat FHB infection in an environmentally friendly manner.