All BGRI Abstracts

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Genomic regions influencing yield stability in durum

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
MERYEM ZAIM University of Mohammed V/ICARDA
HAFSSA,KABBAJ, AYED, AL ABDALLAT, GREGOR, GORJANC, JESSE, POLAND, MIKAEL, MILOUDI NACHIT, AHMED, AMRI, BOUCHRA, BELKADI, KARIM, FILALI MALTOUF, FILIPPO, BASSI MARIA, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) is a major stable crop and it represents a base of the Mediterranean diet. This region is subject to a Mediterranean climate, which is extremely unpredictable with severe changes in moisture and temperature occurring each crop season. This unpredictability is summarized by breeders as GxE and the identification of traits controlling this interaction is quintessential to ensure stability in production season after season. To study the genetics of yield stability, four RILs populations derived from elite x elite crosses were assessed for yield and 1,000-kernel weights across five diverging environments in Morocco and Lebanon. These 550 RILs were characterized with 4,909 polymorphic SNPs via genotyping by sequencing. A consensus map was derived by merging the individual genetic maps of each population. Finally, imputation was used to fill all the missing haplotypes and reach a reduction of missing data to below 8%. Several significant QTLs were identified to be linked to TKW, grain yield and a stability index, namely AMMI wide adaptation index (AWAI). A second approach to identify loci controlling stability was the use of a global panel of 288 elites, accessions and landraces tested in 15 diverging environment. Multi-locations data were compiled via GxE models to derive the AWAI stability index. In addition, this panel was characterized with 8,173 polymorphic SNPs via Axiom 35K array. Significant associations were identified for all traits, including QTLs unique to AWAI. The sum of the identified QTLs can now be pyramid via marker assisted selection and molecular designed crosses in order to obtain very stable cultivars.

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Business mentoring contributes to the growth of small and wheat seed enterprises in Nepal

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Narayan Khanal CIMMYT International, South Asia, Regional Office, Kathmandu
Gurbinder Gill, Madan Bhatta, Andrew McDonald, Arun Joshi

The experience of seed system development works in Nepal shows that lack of business orientation is one of the key challenges for the growth of Nepalese seed enterprises (SEs). We implemented a business mentorship activity focusing on SEs in the project - Cereal System Initiative for South Asia. The business mentoring (BM) was implemented covering 10 SEs during 2014 to 2017 using discovery sensitization and facilitation mode. The key actions were, SWOT analysis, mentorship to develop strategic business plan, technical facilitation for seed quality improvement through maintenance breeding and on-farm farmer participatory trials as well as large plot demonstrations of recently released and pre-released wheat varieties. This resulted in 45% average increase in the volume of seed sold by individual SEs in three years. Five SEs started maintenance breeding in wheat and by third year, over 50% of the seed sold by the enterprises consisted of newly released varieties compared to 20% before mentoring. The improved performance of SEs prompted seed quality control authority of Nepal to issue a license to two of these private seed companies for maintenance breeding cum foundation seed production. As a consequence, foundation seed production of these entities increased by 60% in three years, and two of them have also started maintenance breeding in rice from 2017. The facilitation in developing business plan by SEs helped them to attract financial resources from different sources in upgrading seed processing, storage and laboratory facilities. Moreover, the National Wheat Research Program of Nepal has proposed the release of a new wheat variety BL 4341 through integration of on-farm trials and seed production data of these SEs. This new variety is resistant to major diseases, yields 7% higher than the popular cultivar NL 297 which was released 32 years ago and needed replacement due to susceptibility to wheat rusts

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Identification of a Major and Novel QTL Conferring Resistance to Leaf Rust in Wheat

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Suraj Sapkota University of Georgia
Mohamed,Mergoum, Yuanfeng, Hao, Jerry, Johnson, Dan, Bland, James, Buck, John, Youmans, Benzamin, Lopez, Steve, Sutton, Zhenbang, Chen, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leaf rust disease, caused by the fungal pathogen Puccinia tritcina, is the most destructive foliar disease of wheat worldwide. Gene combination of Lr37/Yr17/Sr38 has been used in Georgia (GA) to prevent the loss from leaf rust; however, with the emergence of new virulent races, these genes have lost their effectiveness. 'AGS 2000' and 'Pioneer 26R61' are the most common soft red winter wheat (SRWW) cultivars in Southeastern US, and have been used as good sources of resistance to leaf and stripe rusts, and powdery mildew. To characterize the genetic basic of resistance of AGS 2000, a mapping population of 178 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) has been developed from a cross with Pioneer 26R61. This population was genotyped using a combination of SSR, DArT, and SNP markers, and a total of 2734 markers covering the entire genome were used for the construction of genetic map. Phenotypic evaluation of parents and RIL population was conducted at the seedling stage using a virulent GA leaf rust race. QTL mapping revealed a major QTL on chromosome 2BL, explaining about 20% of total phenotypic variation in AGS 2000. Additionally, a minor QTL was also detected on chromosome 5B. QTL on 2BL was identified as a novel gene, and can be used in marker-assisted selection for leaf rust resistance.

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Wheat disease surveillance and monitoring in Bangladesh

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Md Farhad Wheat Research Centre, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute
Kishwar-E-,Mustarin, Md Mostofa Ali, Reza, Krishna Kanto, Roy, Md. Ashraful, Alam, Md. Rezaul, Kabir, MD Abdil, Hakim, Md Monwar, Hossain, Md Rabiul, Islam, Tim, Krupnik, Md Forhad, Amin, Md. Mosharraf, Hossain, Nure Alam, Siddque, Paritosh Kumar, Malaker, Maricellis, Acevedo, Noresh Chandra Deb, Barma

Disease surveillance and monitoring has been regularly organized by Wheat Research Centre (WRC), in major wheat growing areas of Bangladesh since 2010-11 to track the current status of common diseases, first outbreak of new disease(s), the pathogen hotspot and identify new virulent races. Besides the paper based traditional survey, scientists of WRC are now using different tools like Smartphone/Tablet with supporting applications. Several trainings were arranged under DGGW project on rust tool box in Bangladesh. Among all smartphone applications, RustSurvey is the easiest and handy application which integrates with the SAARC Surveillance Toolbox.
A disease surveillance program on wheat blast was organized in Mid February 2017 followed by hands on training in collaboration with CIMMYT and CU, USA. Out of 103 sites surveyed, 33 sites were found infected with wheat blast. Overall disease incidence was comparatively lower than the previous season with low disease severity (5-10%). Surveillance program on rust diseases was also conducted in early March 2016. Among 102 rust survey sites stem rust and yellow rust was not found, but leaf rust occurred with varying levels of severity depending on field locations, sowing times and cultivars grown. About 52% of the 102 fields investigated had leaf rust, and almost 73% of the infected fields showed low (<20%), 21% moderate (20-40%) and only 6% showed high (more than 40%) disease severity. Timely (15-30 November) planted crops largely escaped or had less disease compared to those planted late in the season. The predominant cultivar Prodip as well as BARI Gom 25 and 26 showed zero to high disease levels with MSS type reactions. BARI Gom 21, 28, 29 and 30 were free from leaf rust infection. Furthermore, Spot blotch was found in most of the region with low to high level field incidence depending on crop growth stage.

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How to adapt durum wheat when the environment tries everything to kill it

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Filippo Maria Bassi ICARDA, Rabat
Khaoula El Hassouni, Priyanka Gupta, Hafssa Kabbaj, Meryam Zaim, Amadou Tidiane Sall, Bouchra Belkadi, Ayed Al-Abdallat, Ahmed Amri, Rodomiro Ortiz, Michael Baum

Durum wheat is the tenth most important crop in the world, but its cultivation is mostly limited to harsh, arid, and heat prone marginal lands. Breeding for tolerance to these conditions is often considered the most strategic approach to ensure adaptation, especially when paired with best agronomical practices. The word 'adaptation' summarizes all the research efforts conducted to identify the many traits controlling the mechanisms for withstanding or escaping the traceries of the environment. It can be summarized as "GGE vs E". The durum wheat breeding program of ICARDA deploys targeted phenotyping methods in combination with genomic scans to dissect these 'adaptive' traits into simple loci. These loci can then be pyramided via a combination of international field testing, markers assisted selection, genetically-driven crossing schemes, and genomic selection to derive climate-ready cultivars. Here, several examples of this approach are presented and their implications for 'adaptation' are discussed.

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Effect of host vernalisation, temperature and plant growth stage on wheat and triticale susceptibility to Puccinia striiformis

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Julian Rodriguez-Algaba Aarhus University
Chris K. Sørensen, Rodrigo Labouriau, Annemarie Justesen, Mogens Hovmøller

Host vernalisation and temperature strongly affect the susceptibility of winter crops to pathogenic fungi. However, how the interaction of these environmental factors influence host susceptibility to Puccinia striiformis, the yellow (stripe) rust fungus, is poorly understood. An experimental system was developed to examine the effect of vernalisation, temperature regime (standard; 18 day/12 night °C and low; 12 day/6 night °C) and plant growth (seedling and adult plant stages) on changes in susceptibility of agronomically important winter wheat and triticale genotypes to P. striiformis races ('Warrior' and 'Kranich') highly predominant in several European countries. Host genotypes exposed to prolonged periods of low temperature, termed vernalisation, reduced disease susceptibility on specific winter host genotypes, although its effect differed considerably by the temperature regime and the P. striiformis race deployed. The influence of vernalisation on host susceptibility was more apparent at low temperature for the 'Warrior' race and at standard temperature for the 'Kranich' race. Triticale genotypes inoculated with the 'Kranich' race were particularly affected by the influence of vernalisation and temperature regime by displaying a shift towards reduced susceptibility at standard temperature. The effect of plant growth stage, i.e., vernalised seedlings versus adult plants, was most evident for the 'Warrior' race at standard temperature and at low temperature for the 'Kranich' race by revealing a lower infection type at the adult plant stage. The research findings presented here contributed to a better understanding of the role of environmental factors in host susceptibility. This, in fact, will aid in the development of more efficient early-warning systems and disease management strategies to the yellow rust fungus and in the decision making for the deployment of winter wheat and triticale genotypes.

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Stem rust resistance in durum wheat

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Pablo Olivera University of Minnesota
Ayele Badebo, Worku Bulbula, Matthew Rouse, Yue Jin

Our research objective is to identify new resistance genes in durum wheat that are effective against TTKSK and other significant stem rust pathogen races that could be utilized in durum breeding. We characterized 8,000 accessions for stem rust response in the field (Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, and St. Paul, MN). Accessions with resistant to moderately resistant responses in multiple field evaluations were evaluated at the seedling stage for resistance to races TTKSK, TRTTF, TTTTF, JRCQC, TKTTF, and six representative U.S. races. We identified 438 durum accessions resistant to moderately resistant in all field evaluations. Among the field-resistant accessions, 273 were resistant to all races used in seedling evaluations. Accessions susceptible at the seedling stage are being evaluated for the presence of adult plant resistance genes. The highest frequencies of resistant lines include landraces from East and North Africa (Ethiopia and Egypt) and advanced breeding lines and cultivars from North America (Mexico and USA). DNA markers will be performed to identify the presence of durum stem rust resistance genes, including Sr13, Sr8155B1, Sr11, and Sr8a. Nineteen resistant accessions were selected to investigate the genetics of TTKSK and TRTTF resistance. Results from evaluating F2 and F2:3 generations from biparental crosses revealed that resistance to race TTKSK was conferred mostly by one or two genes with dominant and recessive actions. Additional resistance genes were identified when populations were evaluated against race TRTTF. A bulk segregant analysis approach is being used to map the resistance in selected lines using the 90K SNP platform.

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Isolation of wheat Yr26 sheds new insights into wheat resistance to Puccinia striiformis infection

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Qingdong Zeng Northwest A&F University
Dejun Han, Jia Guo, Manuel Spannagl, Jianhui Wu, Aizhong Cao, Peidu Chen, IWGSC, Lili Huang, Jun Guo, Klaus Mayer, Zhensheng, Kang

Wheat cultivation in many regions faces threats by devastating fungal infections. However, wheat cultivar 92R137 shows resistance to Puccinia striiformis infection. To isolate the stripe rust resistance gene Yr26, an integrated transcriptomic and comparative genomics approach was undertaken. Near-isogenic lines of wheat (carrying Yr26 or not) infected with two Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) (Virulence or avirulence to Yr26) were analysed in a dual detailed time series RNA-seq study. The emerging IWGSC refseq v1.0 genome assembly sequence serves as a valuable template and was also used for comparative genomics studies of the gene candidate region with the genome sequences of close relatives and wheat progenitors. Using bulked segregant analysis (BSA) to identify polymorphic SNPs between parent and resistant DNA (R-bulk) and susceptible DNA (S-bulk), flanking markers for Yr26 were identified. These two markers were mapped to the Chinese spring reference genome sequence, spanning a region of about 250 kb. The synteny analysis of this candidate region in CS chr1B with chr1A, chr1D, Wild Emmer Wheat (Td_chr1A and Td_chr1B) and Barley (chr1H) identified three candidate Yr26 genes. To detect gene candidates a dual time series RNA-seq analysis was performed. Genes differently expressed between rust susceptible (NIL-S) host lines and rust resistant (NIL-R) lines, carrying the Yr26 candidate gene were analysed. Both lines were inoculated with Pst carrying different avirulence factors (Pst-CYR32 and Pst-V26), compatible or incompatible with the corresponding wheat lines. Differential gene expression analysis (DEG) between compatible and incompatible interaction revealed DEGs in the wheat genome and in the Pst genome. From a network analysis of both wheat and Pst genes, we inferred connected co-expressed modules. Resulting modules showed particular enrichments for disease resistance, defense response to fungus and cell wall components.

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Development of bread wheat cultivars for resistance to stem rust for cultivation in north zone of Iran

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Manoochehr Khodarahmi Seed and Plant Improvement Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran
Kamal Shahbazi, Jabbar Alt Jafarby, Mohammad Sadegh Khavarinejad, Farzad Afshari, Farshad Bakhtiar, Habibollah Soghi

In this project to obtain resistant wheat breeding lines/cultivars to stem rust disease, new cultivars and lines of the north breeding program were evaluated in greenhouse with races collected in 2014 from northern regions of Iran, Moghan and Gorgan. Artificial inoculation in greenhouse indicated none of the races had virulence on Sr11, Sr13, Sr24, Sr25, Sr26, Sr27, Sr29, Sr31, Sr32, Sr33, Sr37, Sr39, Sr40, and SrTmp. In order to evaluate seedling resistance, 143 wheat cultivars and new lines under greenhouse conditions were inoculated with four isolates of stem rust in four separate experiments in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Evaluation of the northern germplasm under greenhouse conditions showed that some of the genotypes were resistant against all four isolates. The resistance of some of these new lines was also confirmed in Kenya. Regarding other desirable agronomic characteristics, some of these lines will be introduced as new cultivars in the northern region of Iran.

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Marker and haplotype-based association mapping and genomic prediction to unravel the complex genetic architecture of grain yield and yield stability in spring bread wheat

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Deepmala Sehgal CIMMYT
Umesh Rosyara, Suchismita Mondal, Ravi Singh, Susanne Dreisigacker

Grain yield is the most important economic trait in wheat breeding. The detailed understanding of the genetic architecture of grain yield is crucial and the determining factor to optimize genomics-assisted selection strategies in wheat. First, we performed a marker and haplotype-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) for grain yield (GY) and yield stability coefficient (Pi) on 4,302 advanced breeding lines from five CIMMYT international bread wheat trails grown in multiple (optimally irrigated and stress) environments. All lines were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing. A haplotype map was built based on linkage disequilibrium between markers. Twenty-nine markers and 16 haplotypes were associated with GY and Pi across two and three germplasm trials with allelic effects ranging from 2 to 11% across environments. Secondly, we performed genomic prediction, testing eight different prediction models incorporating single markers (base model), haplotypes, epistatic interactions, and significant markers/haplotypes identified in GWAS. Initial results show that by including haplotypes and epistatic interactions among haplotypes (main effect and genome-wide), prediction accuracies range between 0.33-0.49 for GY, a 3 to 22.5% improvement over the base model. Despite the identification of significant marker/haplotype trait associations across traits and environments in GWAS, accounting for these markers in genomic prediction does not improve the prediction models. Our results suggest that the haplotype-based approach can increase prediction ability, but that the knowledge of the genetic architecture of grain yield might not have significant consequence on genomic-assisted selection.

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