Resistance to aphids in synthetic hexaploid wheat derived lines
Aphids are major pests of wheat, able to cause up to 40% yield reduction solely due to direct feeding and up to 60% when feeding is combined with the transmission of viral diseases. Wheat resistance to aphids has proven to be effective in protecting yields and also in reducing the transmission rate of viral diseases. Moreover, aphid resistance is fundamental to reduce the negative impacts that the indiscriminate use of insecticides have on the environment and human health. In this study we report the results derived from the evaluation of 326 synthetic hexaploid wheat (SHW) derived lines against the greenbug (Schizaphis graminum [Rondai]). Primary SHWs were crossed with CIMMYT elite lines and further selected in the breeding pipeline. Therefore, such lines have acceptable agronomic characteristics for its further use in breeding programs. The 326 SHW derived lines were evaluated at seedling stage, in five augmented incomplete blocks, arranged in split-plots, with two treatments (infested vs. non-infested) and with resistant and susceptible checks replicated 16 times. The measured variables were chlorophyll content with a SPAD meter and a visual damage score in a scale 0-100 was also taken. Measurements were recorded when the susceptible check was dead due to aphid feeding. The evaluations were repeated two times for confirmation. Our results indicate the presence of genetic variation for S. graminum resistance. We identified about 4 % of the lines to carry high levels of resistance against this aphid. These lines are currently used in CIMMYT's bread wheat breeding program to incorporate the resistance in elite germplasm.