All BGRI Abstracts

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A large nested association mapping population to map agronomic QTL and smallholder farmers preference in Ethiopian durum wheat

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Matteo Dell'Acqua Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Yosef G.,Kidane, Cherinet, Alem, Bogale, Nigir, Dejene, Mengistu, Carlo, Fadda, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Ethiopian plateau hosts thousands of durum wheat landraces cultivated in low input agriculture conducted by an estimated 70 million smallholder farmers. Having thoroughly characterized the phenotypic and molecular uniqueness of Ethiopian durum wheat landraces, we produced a large nested association mapping (NAM) population harnessing their mostly untapped diversity in a set of recombinant inbred lines (RIL). The NAM founders are 50 landraces providing valuable traits such as drought tolerance and resistance to pests, and maximizing molecular diversity. Each selected landrace was crossed to a durum wheat line with an international background (Asassa), establishing independent interconnected bi-parental families, for a total of 6,280 RILs currently in F8. The Ethiopian NAM is at once i) a powerful QTL mapping tool that will side the increasing availability of genomic tools in wheat towards high-throughput candidate genes identification, and ii) a large pre-breeding panel closing the gap between local and international materials. Here we discuss the molecular and phenotypic characterization of twelve NAM families, represented by 100 RILs each. The 1,200 NAM RIL showed elevated allelic variation and a genetic structure reminiscent of the breeding design followed. The NAM RILs were phenotyped for ten agronomic and five disease traits in multiple locations in the Ethiopian highlands. A quantitative method eliciting smallholder farmers traditional knowledge was used to record local farmers appreciation of NAM RILs in all phenotyping locations. We report that the superior genetic properties of the NAM can be used to map QTL for both agronomic and farmer traits with unprecedented precision. The most promising NAM RILs can be identified combining farmers appreciation and agronomic measures, and prioritized for introgression of Ethiopian landraces traits in breeding pipelines aiming at higher uptake and productivity in local agriculture.

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Host-induced gene silencing of the mitogen-activated protein kinase PsFUZ7 confers stable resistance to wheat stripe rust

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Jun Guo Northwest A&F University
Xiaoguo Zhu, Zhensheng Kang

RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful genetic tool to accelerate research in plant biotechnology and to control biotic stresses by manipulating target gene expression. However, the potential of RNAi in wheat to efficiently and durably control the devastating stripe rust fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), remained largely under explored, so far. To address this issue, we generated transgenic wheat lines expressing double-stranded RNA targeting PsFUZ7 transcripts of Pst. We analyzed expression of PsFUZ7 and related genes, and resistance traits of these transgenic wheat lines. We show that PsFUZ7 is an important pathogenicity factor that regulates infection and development of Pst. A PsFUZ7 RNAi construct stably expressed in two independent transgenic lines of wheat confers strong resistance to Pst. Pst hyphal development is strongly restricted, and necrosis of cells in plant resistance responses was induced significantly. We conclude that trafficking of RNA molecules from wheat plants to Pst may lead to a complex molecular dialogue between wheat and the rust pathogen. Moreover, we confirm the RNAi-based crop protection approaches can be used as a novel control strategy against rust pathogens in wheat.

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Identification and characterization of winter wheat germplasm resistant to stem rust in Kenya and Turkey

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Beyhan Akin International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), P.K. 39 Emek 06511 Ankara, Turkey
Nilufer,Akci, Sridhar, Bhavani, Mesut, Keser, Fatih, Ozdemir, Ruth, Wanyera, Alexey, Morgounov, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A diverse set of winter wheat germplasm was screened for resistance to stem rust in large-scale trials in Kenya and Turkey during 2009-16. The study aimed to select resistant material and characterize types of resistance and possible genes, as well as evaluate agronomic traits and resistance to other diseases to select superior variety candidates and parental lines. The study material was comprised of various Facultative and Winter Wheat Observation Nurseries (FAWWON), which are developed and distributed by the International Winter Wheat Improvement Program (www.iwwip.org) in Turkey. More than 1600 global accessions were screened, with most evaluated for two years. Based on stem rust data from Kenya, more than 400 genotypes were identified exhibiting adequate levels of resistance to the Ug99 race group. The highest number of resistant lines originated from IWWIP (~170), USA (~100), Russia (~40), Iran (~30), Romania (~20), and South Africa (~20). Material was also tested at two sites in Turkey: Haymana (artificial inoculation) and Kastamonu (natural infection). There was no significant correlation between stem rust severities in Kenya and in Turkey, due to differences in stem rust pathotypes. However, a set of germplasm (more than 100 entries) has been identified as resistant in both countries. This set represents promising material as variety candidates and parental lines; another study is currently identifying the genes controlling the stem rust resistance in this population. IWWIP distributed stem rust resistant germplasm to its global collaborators during 2010-2015, in response to the threat from the Ug99 race group. New resistant germplasm combining broad adaptation, high yields, and resistance to other diseases is available on request.

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Epidemics of stripe (yellow) rust on wheat and triticale fields of Algeria in 2016.

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Nora DERBAL Laboratoire de Biologie, Eau et Environnement, département d'écologie,university of 8 mai1945 Guelma, Algeria
Abdelkader Benbelkacem

Epidemics of stripe (yellow) rust on wheat and triticale fields of Algeria in 2016. Wheat and triticale fields in 69 localities from the eastern regions of Algeria were assessed for epidemics, which started in early march to late may corresponding to booting stage up to early dough stage of the alternative type crop. The infection had incidences ranging from 30 to 100% and severities of 30 to 70%. The newly released cultivar Ksar sbahi was infected up to 10%. The old improved durum cultivars HAR3116 (SHA7/KAUZ) and HAR1407 (COOK/VEES//DOVES) were rust-free at a number of locations. In the Amhara region, the wheat cultivars were at stem elongation to flowering with disease incidences of 50-100% and severities of 30-90%. The oldest cultivar ET 13 A2 was severely infected in the north Shewa zone of Amhara region. Triticale cultivar Logaw Shibo was susceptible at elevations above 2700 m and showed trace reactions at elevations below 2500 m. The local bread wheat cultivar grown in all wheat growing areas was only slightly affected by the disease. Yellow rust was rarely recorded in the Tigray region. Severe epidemics were recorded in the highlands and even at lower elevations where it is not commonly found on wheat.

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Outbreak of Wheat Yellow Rust disease under Moroccan conditions during 2016-2017 cropping season

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Abdelhamid Ramdani Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Morocco
Kumarse Nazari, David Hodson, Tine Thach, Julian Rodriguez Algaba, Mogens Støvring Hovmøller

Wheat rusts, notably yellow rust, are amongst the most damaging diseases on wheat in Morocco. The objective of this survey was to assess the incidence and severity of wheat rust diseases across Morocco. The survey was carried out during April-May 2017 where growth stage of wheat ranged from anthesis to physiological maturity. The severity and response rating for the adult plant field reaction to rusts were based on the modified Cobb scale. A total of 117 bread wheat fields were inspected. The survey revealed that the most prevalent disease was yellow rust (96 out of 117 fields). Leaf rust, SLD (Septoria Like Diseases) and to some extent root rot complex were less prevalent. Leaf rust was only observed in 8 out of 117 inspected fields and exhibited low severity. Stem rust was observed in only one field. Following the drought of 2016, the 2017 growing season was an epidemic year for yellow rust in Morocco. It was detected across all regions and 50% of inspected fields were highly infected. Those that were lightly or not infected were sprayed with fungicides up to two times. Almost all commercial bread wheat cultivars in Morocco are highly susceptible to yellow rust. Appearance of new virulent races is leading to the breakdown of resistance in major cultivars e.g., Arrihan, which had very few pustules of yellow rust in 2013 was highly susceptible in the last three years. Samples of yellow rust from 2016 revealed a new virulent race in all samples, temporarily designated Pst (new) [virulence pattern: [Yr-,2,3,-,-,6,7,8,9,-,-,17,-,25,-,32,Sp,AvS,-]. Thirty-four samples submitted to GRRC in 2017 were all of the same genotype, identical to the new race already detected in 2016. The results demonstrate that surveillance and genotyping/race phenotyping of samples may be important for early-warning and anticipatory breeding strategies.

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Changes of some physiological parameters of different wheat genotypes in ontogenesis depending on infection of leave level

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Javanshir Talai Research Institute of Crop Husbandry, Azerbaijan
ATIF,ZAMANOV, Konul, Aslanova, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rust diseases are considered the main stress factors that limit wheat productivity in the Azerbaijan. The studies on the impact of rust diseases on physiological processes at reproductive vegetation period is of very importance with view of evaluating size of yield and quality of the studied genotypes. For this purpose the studies focused on bread wheat genotypes (Triticum aestivum L.), which differ sharply by architectonics, biological peculiarities and resistance to rust diseases. Comparative evaluation of the studied genotypes by physiological and quality parameters has been undertaken in two options: over plants infected with diseases in natural background, and over healthy plants (fungicide sprayed plants). Area of photosynthesis apparatus of leaf story (18,3-50,2 sm2) of the studied wheat genotypes changes in wide interval. Infestation level of leaves with yellow rust (Puccinia striiformis West.) in wheat genotypes grown in natural infection background fluctuates between 5MS-40S in ontogenesis, but between 10MS-90S with brown rust (Puccinia recondita Desm.).
High level of infection with rust diseases leads to reduced size of leaf assimilation area and defoliation. Reduction of these dimensions makes up 10-90% in lower story leaves of genotypes infected with rust diseases, but 20-30% in upper story leaves. Genotypes with large and bending leaves subject to this disease more frequently. Value of photosynthesis intensity in ontogenesis at upper story leaves of the genotypes infected with rust diseases at natural background fluctuates between 6-18 ?mol CO2 .m-2.s-1 depending on level of infection, but in healthy plants between 16-29 ?molCO2 .m-2.s-1. Negative impact of these diseases on normal course of plant physiological process ultimately causes is reflected in yield and quality parameters.

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Optimizing winter wheat traits to improve resilience to a changing environment in rainfed crop systems of Turkey and Iran

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Marta Lopes CIMMYT
Emel Ozer, Mehmet Karaman, Mozaffar Roustaii, Jalal Kamali

Erratic weather patterns associated with climate change pose unique challenges for wheat breeders playing a key part in the fight to ensure global food security. Within the rainfed winter wheat areas of Turkey and Iran this erratic weather patterns may prevent attaining maximum potential increases in winter wheat genetic gains. This is primarily related with the fact that the ranking of tested varieties may greatly change from one year to the other. Erratic weather patterns may interfere with breeders decision on the ideotype(s) they should aim for during selection. To support breeding decisions, this study aimed at optimizing major traits through modelling different combinations of environments and defining probabilities of the range of variation of traits (phenology and pant height) that maximized grain yields. Optimal phenology was found to be highly related with the temperatures at which the winter wheat varieties were exposed at around heading time (20 days before and after heading). Specifically later winter wheat varieties were exposed to higher temperature both before and after heading and this exposure had a negative effect on grain filling duration and final grain yield. Finally, the use of at least five different wheat varieties in one production field (with different phenology and plant height) was compared to a field with monoculture to test for improved resilience. It was concluded that by selecting one best wheat variety in a wide range of environments it was possible to maximize grain yield and that using a set of diverse varieties was not beneficial.

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Contribution of peduncle traits to grain yield under terminal drought and compensatory effect of stem reserve mobilization

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Dejan Dodig Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje
Dragana Ranćić, Vesna Kandić, Biljana Vucelić-Radović, Jasna, Savić, Miroslav Zorć

When environmental stress develops during reproductive phases of growth, wheat plants have to rely increasingly on remobilisation of previously stored assimilates to maintain grain filling. The present study was undertaken to determine the effect of several peduncle (the uppermost stem internode) morpho-anatomical and biochemical traits on grain weight, and to assess the contribution of the peduncle water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) reserves shortly after anthesis to its variation. In 2-year field trials, 61 wheat genotypes were used (27 F4:5 families, 17 parents used for the crosses and the 17 current best standards) comparing intact control plants (CP) with plants that were defoliated (DP) by cutting off all leaf blades 10 days after anthesis to simulate terminal stress. Estimated contributions of peduncle assimilate reserves to grain weight/spike were from 0.06 to 0.31% and from 0.11 to 0.45% in CP and DP plants, respectively. High peduncle reserve mobilization efficiency, a longer exposed part of the peduncle and larger peduncle storage capacity (through higher parenchyma and/or lower lignified area) were of specific benefit for maintaining grain weight in defoliated plants. There was a large difference in compensation of grain yield loss by dry matter remobilization within studied genotypes (in average 1.2-36.1%). Although compensation of yield loss might be improved through breeding process (our F4:5 families had slightly higher mean compensation effect than their parents under moderate stress), it does not mitigate the effect of post-anthesis drought in great extent (up to 38.4%).

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Paving the path of durum: Identification of flowering genes and heterotic behavior for root vigor

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Priyanka Gupta University of Bologna, Italy/ International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Morocco
Hafssa Kabbaj, khaoula El hassouni, Elisabetta Frascaroli, Angelo Petrozza, Stephan Summerer, Marco Maccaferri, Miguel Sanchez-Garcia, Roberto Tuberosa, Filippo M. Bassi

Global food security is faced with many threats including population growth and changing climate. To cope with these threats a new paradigm shift is required to ensure sufficient and sustainable crop production. Hybrid technology could represent a partly strategic solution for durum wheat, but the understanding of its heterotic behavior is very limited. In this study, 53 F1 plants were produced via half diallel scheme and North Carolina design II, using as parental elite lines selected on the basis of their genetic distance. These hybrids along with their parents were evaluated for different physiological and root traits on a precision phenotyping platform (Lemnatec) at different levels of water stress. Additionally, a second root test was conducted in near field condition via a basket method to determine shallow or deep rooting behavior. Hybrids with the most heterotic combinations in terms of above and below ground biomass were identified. However, in order to ensure adequate pollination between heterotic parents, their flowering time must overlap. To identify good matching partners, a GWAS study was conducted to identify genomic regions associated with the control of flowering time in durum wheat. A total of 384 landraces and modern germplasm were assessed at 13 environments with different temperatures and day length throughout the season. Genotyping was conducted by 35K Axiom array to generate 8,173 polymorphic SNPs. In total, 12 significant QTLS for landraces and 17 QTLs for modern germplasm were identified consistently across environments. These two results when combined will allow to predict the best parental partners for hybrid production via markers screening on the basis of their genetic similarity to the most heterotic groups, and with matching flowering times.

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Utilization of Jordanian durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp durum) landraces for crop improvement in dry areas

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Ayed Al-Abdallat Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Jordan
Moneer Mansour, Nasab Rawashdah, Rabei Sayaydeh

Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum) landraces are rapidly disappearing from the main wheat production areas in the Fertile Crescent. Such local landraces are most likely contain geographically specific, ectopically adapted alleles or gene complexes for their harsh environments. A panel of 156 durum wheat landraces and released varieties were assembled from historical collections deposited in national and international gene banks and from a recent active collection mission from selected areas across Jordan. The panel were evaluated under field conditions in two different locations for one growing season. Data for days to heading, plant height, peduncle length, number of spikes spike length, spike weight, grains number, grains weight, number of kernels per spike and thousand-kernel weight were recorded. Results indicate the existence of a wide variation between the tested genotypes for all tested agronomical traits. For heading date, the Jordanian landrace "JDu103" was the earliest under dry environment conditions. Regarding grains weight and spike weight, the Jordanian landrace "JDu105" produced the highest mean value under humid conditions. Another landrace "JDu46" produced the longest spikes and the highest TKW mean value, while the Jordanian landrace "JDu105" produced the heaviest spikes weight mean value, while "JDu100" produced the highest grains number. For molecular analysis, total genomic DNA was extracted from each genotype and then used for SNP genotyping using Illumina iSelect wheat 90k SNP chip. Structure analysis showed that the analyzed durum wheat panel can be divided into three genetically distinct subgroups. The GWAS analysis identified 93 significant markers-traits associations for multiple traits with two QTLs located at 7A and 7B, which seems important for TKW in durum wheat under dry environments. In conclusion, the Jordanian landraces used in this study showed wide genotypic and phenotypic variability, which can be considered by plant breeders for their future use in breeding programs.

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