All BGRI Abstracts

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Increase in surveillance activities in SAARC region through streamlined efforts and enhanced tool box

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Vijay Paranjape Sathguru Management Consultants
Kanan Vijayaraghavan, Venugopal Chintada, Rituparna Majumder, Richa Kapur, K. Aishwariya Varadan

South Asia has the highest "wheat dependent" low income community in the world. Stem rust and blast are recognized as the most damaging disease of wheat in the region producing 19% of the world's wheat. In order to combat the potential threat the national research centers were geared up to track the real time movement of wheat diseases, generate disease incidence data and create an enabling environment to boost wheat research in the region through streamlined efforts and enhanced SAARC tool box deployed six years ago.
Recent data (2016-17) from the tool box has shown a significant increase in the data records captured in this region compared to previous years. This has been possible because of heightened awareness amongst the scientists and with the continuous capacity building through pre-season and in-season surveillance trainings organized by Sathguru in collaboration with National Wheat Research Institutes at various levels.
The model is helping partner institutes to be self-sufficient for generating, maintaining wheat disease surveillance data in national and global databases and exchanging real time information with stakeholders. The application have been widely deployed and competently being used by 95% of rust surveillance teams in the wheat fields of SAARC region.
The study will focus on how national research center's judicious decision of carrying out diligent surveillance during the season contributed to safeguarding wheat crops in their respective nations through increased vigilance on emergence of new races and targeted introduction of regionally resistant varieties. Further using this data scientist's can aim to strategize their wheat research for identification of resistant varieties and eventually resulting in increased productivity addressing food security of the region.


Allelism of resistance genes YrH52, YrG303 and Yr15 originating from different wild emmer sources

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Valentina Klymiuk Institute of Evolution and the Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Israel
Dina Raats, Lin Huang, Valeria Bocharova, Jorge Dubcovsky, Abraham Korol, Tzion Fahima

Wild emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccoides, (DIC)) is an important source of resistance to stripe rust due to presence of Puccinia striiformis in its natural habitats with high humidity and relatively low temperatures that are favorable for stripe rust development. Previously, we showed that DIC accessions from northern Israel were highly resistant to stripe rust. According to the rust responses of three DIC accessions (G25, H52, G303) and mapping of the resistance to relatively close, but different, genetic positions on chromosome 1BS, three different resistance genes were assumed to be present. However, the development of additional critical recombinants and new higher resolution genetic maps for these three genes in subsequent work led us to place YrH52 and YrG303 in the same genetic interval as Yr15, suggesting that the three putative genes are allelic or identical. The recent cloning of Yr15 allowed us to test this hypothesis using an EMS mutagenesis approach. We sequenced the Yr15 locus in five yrH52 and three yrG303 susceptible mutants and identified missense point mutations associated with the susceptible phenotype in each one. Thus, YrH52 and YrG303 may not be new genes. Further work is under way to determine if these genes are allelic or identical.


Mitigating temperature stress by timely planting of wheat

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Ghulam Mahboob Subhani Wheat Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Javed Ahmad, Abid Mahmood

Wheat is an important cereal crop and staple food in Pakistan. Most of the wheat is cultivated late after cotton, rice and sugarcane. Introduction of long duration Bt cotton varieties further pushed its sowing to late December or even early January. Late sowing of wheat crop results in yield loss in the Punjab province. A study has been conducted in experimental fields of Wheat Research Institute, AARI, Faisalabad, Pakistan to find out the possible reasons of low grain yields in late sown crop. Twelve experimental wheat lines were planted on seven sowing dates starting from 1st November to 30th December with ten days interval. The experimental design was a factorial combination of seven sowing dates as main plots and twelve varieties/ genotypes as subplots in a split-plot design with three replications. Effect of temperature on several crop growth stages was studied. Mean minimum temperature during the month of December, 2016 and January, 2017 remained below 5?C and mean maximum was more than 30?C during March 2017. Weather conditions experienced by the crop at each developmental stage were compared with the optimum conditions required on that specific stage in each sowing date. It was revealed that in late sown crop, different phonological/growth stages of the crop and yield components and grain yield were affected negatively. It was concluded from the study that the late sown crop suffered from two types of temperature stresses. The late sown crop faced low temperature stress at starting phase which result in delayed germination and low tillering. At caryopsis formation and grain filling the same crop face high temperature stress causing reduced grain formation and shriveled grains due to enforced maturity. Sowing of wheat at proper time i.e., by the end of November was recommended to fetch maximum yields.


Molecular screening and identification the carriers of effective Yr genes in wheat germplasm of Central Asia

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Alma Kokhmetova Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology
Makpal Atishova, Aygul Madenova, Kanat Galymbek, Jenis Keyshilov, Hafiz Muminjanov, Alexey Morgounov

Wheat rust diseases are a major cause of yield losses of this crop. Yellow (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) rust is of the most widespread and dangerous disease of wheat and is the major factor that adversely affects wheat yield and quality. The use of genetic host resistance is the most effective, economical and environmentally safe method of controlling stripe rust that allows elimination of fungicides and minimize crop losses from this disease. Due to the threat of the development of epiphytoties of rust disease it is necessary to identify new donors of resistance to yellow rust and to develop resistant wheat breeding material. In the present study, attention was drawn to the effective yellow rust resistance genes Yr5, Yr10 and Yr15, which were identified in the process of molecular screening of wheat germplasm. Genetic analysis using S23M41 molecular marker linked to Yr5 revealed the presence of this gene in 17 out of 136 promising lines. Thirteen genotypes screened with Xbarc8 generated the DNA fragment associated with Yr15. Three advanced lines with Yr10 were identified using the SCAR marker. Three lines carrying two Yr genes (Yr5 and Yr15) were detected. Combination of Yr5 and Yr10 were found in 15 wheat lines. We identified a number of wheat genotypes highly resistant to stripe rust, which could be further evaluated to release new resistant varieties or to be used in the breeding program.


Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) of resistance to stem and stripe (yellow) rust in Iranian wheat cultivars and elite lines

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Muhammad Massub Tehseen Department of Field Crops, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
Kumarse Nazari, Mehran Patpour, Davinder Singh, Aladdin Hamwieh

Rust diseases in wheat are the major threat to wheat production and yield gains. The breakdown in resistance of certain major genes and new emerging aggressive races of rusts are causing serious concerns in all main wheat growing areas of the world. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to search for new sources of resistance genes or QTL's for effective utilization in future breeding programs. In total 100 wheat genotypes were evaluated for seedling and adult-plant resistance to stem rust races TKTTF and TTKSK at Tel Hadya-Syria, and Njoro-Kenya, and Kelardasht-Iran. Evaluation to Yr27 virulent stripe rust race was carried out at Tel Hadya and Terbol-Lebanon research stations. In this study we used genome wide association studies (GWAS) to identify markers or QTLs linked to stem rust and stripe rust races using Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT?) in selected 35 Iranian wheat genotypes. The association of markers and phenotypes was carried out using a unified mixed-model approach (MLM) as implemented in the genome association and prediction integrated tool (GAPIT). Out of 3,072 markers, 986 were polymorphic and used for marker trait associations. A total of 44 DArT markers were identified to be significantly (p<=0.01) associated with studied traits in 16 genomic regions 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A, 6A, 7A, 1B.1R, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 5B.7B, 6B, 7D and an unknown region. Among associated markers, 34 were linked to stem and nine to stripe rust. They were found on 16 genomic regions on chromosome arms 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A, 6A, 7A, 1B.1R, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 5B.7B, 6B, 7D and an unknown region. Associated markers explained phenotypic variation ranging from 21 to 65%. In addition to validation of previously identified genes, this study revealed new QTL's linked to stem and stripe rust which will assist breeders to develop new resistant varieties.


Wild grass as a reservoir of Fusarium graminearum and source of inoculum

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Michael Fulcher Cornell University
James Winans, Julian Garcia, Kellie Damann, Gary Bergstrom

In addition to causing Fusarium head blight of wheat and other cereals, Fusarium graminearum is associated with dozens of wild or weedy grass species. Their role in the disease cycle and evolution of the pathogen has not been established despite their widespread distribution. A three-year survey of wild grasses in New York (USA) found that inflorescences and overwintered stems were frequently colonized by F. graminearum. Through a series of controlled laboratory experiments, wheat and five common grass species were compared for their potential to support inoculum production. Artificially infested stem tissue from several grasses both retained F. graminearum at higher rates through a single winter and supported greater ascospore production per dry gram than wheat. Susceptibility of these species to root and crown rot was measured with a modified seed germination assay and a diverse panel of F. graminearum isolates. Differences were seen between host species, and some grasses were resistant to infection. Our results indicate that wild grass species may support significant F. graminearum inoculum production while differing in their suitability for root and crown colonization. Studying interactions between F. graminearum and alternative host plants can improve our understanding of evolution in a broad host range pathogen and our ability to predict the risk of crop epidemics. We are currently evaluating isolates collected from wild grasses for mycotoxin production and aggressiveness on wheat.


Development of high yielding and disease resistant wheat cultivars by Cereal Crops Research Institute Pirsabak Nowshera after de

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Gulzar Ahmad Cereal Crops Research Institute Pirsabak Nowshera, Pakistan
Khilwat Afridi, Muhammad Ishaq, Irfan Shah, Ibne Khalil, Masood Jan

The Cereal Crops Research Institute (CCRI) is situated on the left bank of River Kabul, near village Pirsabak, 3 km east of Nowshera at an elevation of 288 m above sea level on the intersection of 74? E longitude and 32? N latitude. In July 2010, a devastating flood destroyed all the available germplasm, machineries, laboratories, and field equipment. After the flood research activities were restarted with full motivation, dedication and hard work in collaboration with PARC, ICARDA, CIMMYT, and with the help of wheat productivity enhancement program (WPEP). Developed new population of wheat via spring x spring, spring x facultative germplasm to elevate genetic diversity and lines selected from segregating populations for high yield and rust resistance are at advanced stage of testing.

Since the flood, the CCRI developed four new wheat cultivars: Pirsabak-2013 Pakhtunkhwa-2015 for irrigated areas and Shahkar-2013 and Pirsabak-2015 for rainfed areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Varietal maintenance and seed production of the released varieties has been undertaken by the wheat breeding team effectively. The seed of these newly developed wheat cultivars was multiplied on fast track basis through pre-released seed multiplication and now these four varieties are the most popular cultivars of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Three new candidate wheat lines (PR-106, PR-110 and PR-112) have been submitted to provincial seed council for approval as new wheat cultivars for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Two new candidate lines i.e. PR-115 and PR-118 got first position in National Uniform Wheat Yield Trials (NUWYT) on the basis of grain yield during 2016-17 under irrigated and rainfed conditions, respectively.


Defining efficient phenotypic and genetic selection criteria to improve bread wheat yield under drought conditions

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Sahar Bennani National Institute of Agricultural Research
Nsarellah Nasserlhaq, Wuletaw Tadesse, Ahmed Birouk

In the context of climate change, drought is one of the most important and complex abiotic stresses affecting crop production worldwide. The adoption of an appropriate technological package, principally drought tolerant varieties, may overcome these challenges to meet global food security needs for the rapidly growing human population, particularly in developing countries. Therefore, this research was carried out to identify efficient phenotypic and genetic selection criteria to identify drought tolerant wheat varieties. In this perspective, 200 diverse elite bread wheat lines from ICARDA and CIMMYT were evaluated under four Moroccan environments during the 2015 and 2016 seasons for yield and 15 agro-physiological traits. The same set of genotypes was genotyped using 15k SNPs. Significant environment and genotype environment interaction effects were observed for yield. Average yield reached 3.18t/ha and ranged from 2.45 to 4.27t/ha. The secondary traits were mostly dominated by the environment effect (p<0.001). Based on correlation and regression analysis between grain yield and phenotypic data, the biomass, grain number per m<sup>2</sup> and to a lesser extent fertile spikes number and thousand kernel weights (depending of drought scenarios) can be more reliable traits than yield for the identification of drought tolerant genotypes. Moreover, the ground cover and canopy temperature depression can be used as supplementary criteria for more accurate selection. Slow selection on the basis of phenotypic traits may be accelerated and improved by using molecular markers. The genetic analysis highlighted significant SNPs and identified new QTLs linked to yield and the most efficient phenotypic traits under drought conditions. These findings could be useful for breeding drought-resistant wheat cultivars using marker-assisted selection to accumulate these favorable alleles of SNPs associated with yield-related traits to increase grain yield.


Mining novel seedling stripe rust resistance from Vavilov's wheat landraces using conventional and modern genetic tools

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Raghvendra Sharma QAAFI, The University of Queensland
Robert McIntosh, Peng Zhang, Sami Hoxha, Adnan Riaz, Burkhard Steuernagel, Brande Wulff, Evans Lagudah, Lee Hickey, Sambasivam Periyannan

Wheat is one of the most important staple food and agricultural crop cultivated worldwide. To meet the demands of the raising human population, global wheat production has to be increased which is however declined due to appearance of highly virulent strains of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) fungus causing stripe rust disease. Globally, the incidence of stripe rust is effectively managed through the deployment of host plant mediated genetic resistance. But as the resistance present in the current wheat cultivars are ineffective, new sources of resistance particularly from pathogen unexposed genetic resources are of urgent need to prevent stripe rust epidemics. Landrace collections with rich genetic diversity and being less exposed to prevalent pathogen are of valuable source for resistance to new pathogens. In this study, a total of 295 landrace accessions collected by the famous Russian botanist Vavilov was screened for stripe rust resistance using the two predominant lineage Pst strains of Australia. Six accessions with good resistance against the two aggressive Pst strains were selected for genetic characterization and for utilization in global wheat breeding. Characterisation of these novel resistance were undertaken using combination of conventional and advanced genetic tools. While the conventional approach involves the traditional map based gene cloning, the other tool is the recently identified rapid method based on mutagenesis, targeted gene capture and next generation sequencing called "MutRenSeq". Subsequently, the identified novel resistant traits were transferred into elite wheat cultivars through the combination of linked molecular markers and speed breeding techniques. Thus along with the identification of novel resistance, elite wheat cultivars with broad spectrum stripe rust resistance were also generated through the use state of art techniques to sustain global wheat production from the rapidly evolving stripe pathogens.


The complementary stripe rust resistance gene Yr73 appears to act in a complementary manner with an unidentified gene on chromos

BGRI 2018 Poster Abstract
Robert Park The University of Sydney
Davinder Singh, Peter Dracatos

Following the introduction of wheat stripe rust into Australia in 1979, an uncharacterized resistance (YrA) was identified in both Australian and International spring wheats. Genetic analyses of YrA indicated it was a pair of complementary genes, which were mapped to chromosomes 3DL and 5BL and designated Yr73 and Yr74, respectively. While selection Avocet 'R' carries both genes, selection Avocet 'S' carries Yr73 only. P. triticina pathotype (pt.) 104-1,2,3,(6),(7),11 +Lr37 ("104-VPM"), first detected in Australia in 2002, most likely arose via mutation from pt. 104-1,2,3,(6),(7),11 ("104"), with added virulence for Lr37. Interestingly, while both pathotypes are avirulent on Lr13, 104-VPM shows a much lower Infection Type (IT, ";1") than pt. 104 ("X++3") on several genotypes carrying Lr13 (e.g.Avocet 'R', Avocet 'S'). Other Lr13 genotypes (e.g. cv. Hereward) respond similarly to both pts ("X++3"). Genetic analyses of 4 doubled haploid (DH) populations based on intercrosses between Avocet 'R' and genotypes lacking Lr13 segregated in a 1:7 ratio to pt. 104-VPM (";1" : all other ITs). Two populations fixed for Lr13 (viz. Hereward/ Avocet 'R' and Estica/Avocet 'R') segregated 1:3 to pt. 104-VPM (";1" : all other ITs). This segregation pattern fitted a model where two complementary genes interact with Lr13 to generate the low (IT ";1") IT. Mapping of a Teal/Avocet 'R' DH population using 92 lines and 9,035 DArT-Seq markers identified three QTLs: chromosome 2BS (Lr13); chromosome 3DL (co-located with Yr73); chromosome 1DS. These results suggest that Yr73 acts in a complementary manner with a gene on chromosome 1DS to confer leaf rust resistance (IT "X"), and that these complementary genes are additive with Lr13. It appears that Yr73 is a modifier of two independent genes in wheat, one conferring resistance to stripe rust (Yr74 on chromosome 5BL), and one conferring resistance to leaf rust (LrAv on chromosome 1DS).