Soft Red Winter Wheat Breeding and Variety Development for Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Goal: The objective of this research is to develop and release profit-increasing SRW wheat varieties for Kentucky growers. Crossing: We vernalize varieties and breeding lines to use as parents in August and transplant to the greenhouse in October; our first crosses are made in November and this cycle continues until early April. Parents are crossed with each other on the basis of field, molecular marker, and genomic data. Population and Line Development: F1 hybrids from crosses are planted to produce the F2 generation where screening and selection begins. The best heads in each F2, F3, F4 population are selected and threshed together. In the F5 we plant seed from individual heads in headrows. Clean, early, short, vigorous rows are selected to become new entries in Preliminary yield trials the following year. Yield Testing: In 2016, we tested more than 1400 lines in Preliminary tests, 350 lines in Advanced tests and 10 lines in the state variety trial. In 2017 we will grow yield trials at Lexington, Woodford Co., Princeton, and Schochoh and will contract with WheatTech to grow several yield trials. We measure heading date, height, lodging, disease resistance, yield, test weight and milling/baking quality. Purification and Increase: To release a variety we must produce 200-250 lb of genetically pure breeder seed. We send about 1000 headrows to Yuma each year to speed up this process. Additional increases beyond this stage are unknown at this time until 2016 harvest and data analysis are complete. Head scab screening: At Lexington we plant a 4000 - row inoculated, irrigated scabscreening nursery that contains our breeding lines and varieties and material from other breeding programs. We measure scab traits including vomitoxin (DON) levels to eliminate susceptible lines. Doubled Haploids: True breeding doubled haploids (DH) lines ready to go into yield testing are developed from a cross in 13 months, reducing line development by 4 years. We will send seed from several crosses to Heartland Plant Innovations next fall; they will send us the DH seed. Genomic Selection: In 2016 we began doing genomic selection, getting a ‘Variety Potential’ for new lines not yet tested in the field, based on their genomic information and how it is associated with superior performance in lines that have been tested in the field. To continue in 2017 we will get DNA sequences for the 725 selections from our F5 headrows in order to predict field performance.
Effective start/end date9/1/1612/31/17


  • Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association: $65,625.00


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