Identifying resistance to tan spot disease in winter and durum wheat

  • Term: 3 years, beginning in 2017

  • Funding Amount: $103,500

  • Lead Researcher(s): Reem Aboukhaddour (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

  • Funding Partners: Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC)

Project Description

The proposed project aims to identify new sources of resistance to tan spot in durum and winter wheat.

Tan spot is a destructive foliar disease of wheat that can damage growing plants anytime during crop development causing millions of dollars in losses. Eight races (R1 to R8) of resistance to tan spot have been reported around the globe, but in Canada, USA and Australia two races (R1 and R2) are predominant. It affects nearly all common and durum wheat cultivars available to Canadian farmers and the lack of resistance to tan spot in winter and durum wheat is overlooked in most wheat breeding programs. The threat posed by new races to Canadian wheat is imminent, particularly with recent reports on emergence of novel strains in the USA, South America and North Africa.

Genetic resistance is the most cost effective and durable approach to manage tan spot. The objective of this project is to identify different tan spot resistance sources in durum and winter wheat, and to explore the pathogen variability in relation to specific wheat ploidy level or class. The proposed project will advance our knowledge with regards to tan spot resistance and variability on which durable resistance strategies can be advanced.