Three years of the Precision Wheat Phenotyping Platform for diseases in Uruguay: current status and future prospects
Since 2014 CGIAR-WHEAT Program has promoted the establishment of a network of field-based Precision Wheat Phenotyping Platforms (PWPP) to expand the existing collaborations between CIMMYT, ICARDA and National Agricultural Research System partners. The main goals are improving the quality of data collected and shared among institutions to enhance and accelerate the international wheat breeding, and promote synergism with the private sector and nongovernmental organizations. In 2015, the PWPP-Uruguay was established to test genotypes for multiple diseases: leaf rust, Fusarium head blight and Septoria tritici blotch. These diseases are phenotyped each year in separate field trials artificially inoculated with pathogen isolates identified as representatives of the pathogen regional population. Wheat material is sowed in plots with susceptible checks every 50 entries. Disease severity and other variables related to the disease development are measured using standard international scales at dates when the expression of plant resistance is optimal. In the first three years of the platform, more than 1500 genotypes were screened per year. These materials had diverse origins (more than eight institutions, public and private, from eight countries) and diverse types: from recent commercialized to ancient cultivars, advanced lines, International CIMMYT nurseries, mapping populations or panels. Highly resistant genotypes to multiple diseases could be selected. At the present time, we are developing and adopting advanced phenotyping methods, combining remote sensing and image analysis, and exploring their adaptation to breeding constraints. Also, extension activities as internships, training courses and student projects are being developed. Major future prospects are the enhancement of data and germplasm exchange between platform partners and the PWPP network and the involvement in collaborative phenotyping/genotyping breeding projects.