Pre-emptive breeding for Russian wheat aphid in wheat and barley (UMU00029)

Project Coordinator

Dr Mehmet Cakir
Environmental and Life Sciences
Murdoch University
Tel:+61 8 93606640

Pre-breeding research has a significant role in linking between genetic resources and breeding as it shortens the time frame between genetic enhancement and the development of new, improved crop varieties. The Russian wheat aphid (RWA), Diuraphis noxia, is one of the most damaging insect pests of cereals throughout the World. Although it is not yet present, its incursion to Australia is expected to cause substantial loses to the grains industry and therefore pre-breeding research against this insect is seen as a high priority in Australia.

The objectives of the study are to: 1) Identify wheat and barley germplasm from around the world that are resistant to various Russian wheat aphid biotypes in various countries, 2) develop genomic tools for marker-assisted breeding, and 3) introgress multiple resistance genes into Australian wheat and barley cultivars.

We have evaluated more than 80 wheat lines and over 200 barley lines from various parts of the world against a number of RWA biotypes from USA, Mexico, Hungary, France, Chile and Iran. Wheat and barley lines with moderate to good levels of resistance were identified. Genetic analysis of lines has revealed significant diversity. With the use of Doubled-haploid and F2:3 populations we have mapped resistance genes from various sources on chromosomes 1DS and 7DS in wheat, and 1H, 2H, 3H and 7H in barley. Closely linked SSR and Diversity array technology (DArT) markers have been identified, and these markers offer opportunities for marker-assisted breeding.

Project objectives

The objectives of this project are to:

1.  Characterize available RWA resistant germplasm and a set of Australian cultivars in wheat and barley against available RWA biotypes in France and USA.

2.  Identify molecular markers closely linked to resistance genes and validate them in various wheat and barley backgrounds.

3.   Introgress RWA resistance into Australian wheat and barley backgrounds.

Project collaborators :

Huyen Phan , Murdoch University
Janine Vitou , Montpellier, France
Scott Haley , Colorado State University, USA
Joyce Malinga , KARI-Njoro, Kenya
Frank Peairs , Colorado State University, USA
Hulya Ilbi , Ege university, Turkey
Do Mornhinweg , USDA-ARS, Stillwater, OK, USA
Ana Maria Castro, La Plata University, Argentina
Ferit Turanli, Ege University, Turkey
Lynn Dahleen , USDA-ARS, Fargo, ND, USA
Mustapha Bouhssini , ICARDA
Vicky Tolmay, Small Grains Institute, South Africa
Francis C. Ogbonnaya , ICARDA
Qwain Edwards , CSIRO
Wendy Lawson , DEEDI, QLD