Additional Genetic Improvement of Cereal Rye for Use in Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Two focus areas of this proposed research are: 1) evaluation of new cereal rye populations that have been developed over the past four years for agronomic performance and end use attributes such as enhanced flavor and other traits that are important for distilling (such as protein content, DON content, and kernel size), and. 2) increasing yield potential of our rye breeding lines by continuing selection for higher seed weight per spike, increased tiller number per plant, and disease resistance to be conducted on spaced-plantings (low density populations). Grain yield trials using the most promising 25-30 lines from our breeding program along with 5 commercial checks will be conducted in Lexington and Princeton. This will show if progress has been made over recent years in new populations of cereal rye that have been developed in this project. Grain quality traits will be measured using seed from yield trials and breeder blocks of selected populations. The goal of this breeding effort is to develop new rye varieties with competitive grain yields, reduced lodging risk, acceptable disease resistance, and excellent end use potential for sustainable cereal rye grain production, use as a cover crop, and for forage use. Scope of proposed research: Yield Testing: Grain yield and agronomic performance trials using elite populations developed in our breeding program and 5 check varieties will be conducted in at least 2 KY locations. Grain Quality Testing: Seed from yield trials and increase blocks (representing ~25 lines) will be used for analyses of grain quality parameters. Disease resistance and test weight are two traits that can affect grain quality and suitability for use in distilling or for human consumption. We propose developing lab tests for determining distilling quality for these lines. Genetic Improvement: Additional selection for increase grain yield will be conducted in a range of promising populations that have been constructed. Selection for higher tiller number and increased disease resistance will occur in spaced-plantings. Continued incorporation of new dwarfing genes into rye and selection for decreased lodging will be conducted using several sources of genes that affect plant height in cereal rye. This will include some work with triticale germplasm. Budget request: $6000 student labor during summer 3500 materials and supplies 500 in-state travel $10,000 total
Effective start/end date9/1/2212/31/23


  • Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association: $10,000.00


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