Research HWW-CP

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Hard Winter Wheat Coordinated Project (HWW-CP)

Hard Winter Wheat Coordinated Project Committee  Updated:  1/1/17
Chair, Jon Rich, Agripro-Syngenta, Junction City, KS
Sunish Seghal, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
Stephen Wegulo, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Project Description:

The HWW-CP is an efficient coordinated project that will measure its success by reducing DON in the hard winter wheat grain supply to the food grade level acceptable in the European Union (EU).  This level is currently lower than the US standard.  Because half of our grain is exported and the majority of it shipped to the EU, the risk is that it can be sourced from high scab areas within the HWW region (e.g. the Eastern Great Plains).  As the popularity of whole grain products increases, our goal is to ensure that the DON concentration in these products is also below established thresholds.  Based upon the timelines expected for success in reducing DON, the HWW-CP includes the scientific activities of plant breeders, pathologists, geneticists and supporting research programs. We coordinate with disease management efforts because we realize that in addition to improved varieties, improved management will optimize project success within expected timelines.  HWW-CP germplasm and information are publicly available and made available to other participating researchers in other research areas of the USWBSI.  The HWW-CP remains focused on reducing DON levels as quickly as possible and by using the most efficacious methods to do so (breeding and management).  Membership in the HWW-CP includes all researchers currently funded within the CP, individuals designated as representatives from other research areas of the USWBSI, all interested FHB researchers who may or may not be funded by the USWBSI, stakeholders representing members from groups that fund our research (e.g. the KS, NE, SD, ND, ID and MT Wheat Commissions), and members of groups that are key to our industry and who non-monetarily support HWW-CP research.  These are “independent” stakeholders, such as major mills and bakeries, private wheat breeders, and chemical company representatives.


FY18-19 Research Objectives:

The HWW-CP is organized around two of the research areas – Variety Development and Host Resistance (VDHR) and FHB Management (MGMT) as outlined in the USWBSI Action Plan.  Two major objectives and associated research activities have been established within this CP.  In addition, the HWW-CP works closely with other USWBSI Research Areas (RAs) to support the stated goal of reducing DON levels specified by the EU.  Specifically, the HWW-CP works most closely with the MGMT RA.

Variety Development and Host Resistance (VDHR) and FHB Management (MGMT)

Objective 1. Increase acreage planted to varieties exhibiting low DON through improved FHB resistance in the HWW grain supply for domestic, export and whole grain products.

Associated Research Activities:

  • Increase efficiency of individual breeding programs by developing phenotypic and genomic selection models through coordinated effort of pyramiding major and minor genes leading to the development and release FHB resistant varieties with lower levels of DON.
  • Create new genetic resources and efficiently introgress resistance genes into breeding germplasm for long-term improvement in FHB resistance.
  • Develop and utilize new breeding and non-destructive DON screening technologies to increase the rate of improvement for FHB resistance in winter wheat.
  • Test and evaluate regional germplasm to include breeding lines from public and private breeding programs as well as irrigated field nurseries representative of all FHB environments throughout the region.
Objective 2. Evaluate management and storage practices leading to reduced DON in the HWW grain supply.  These practices will enhance varietal resistance and will be disseminated as information in association with resistant varieties.

Associated Research Activities:

  • Characterize genotype x fungicide "specific" treatment responses for enhancing FHB resistance and the reduction of DON so information can be given to the MGMT group to help them optimize their program using advanced breeding lines and new varieties.  Management practices need to use the most resistant varieties to develop the best systems with the lowest DON concentrations.
  • Develop a full understanding of specific environmental and biological factors influencing FHB infection and toxin accumulation.
  • Enhance communication and end-user education/outreach relating to resistant varieties and effective management practices and have end use stakeholder representatives on the HWW-CP.
  • Enhance cooperation with other RAs by having HWW-CP representatives on MGMT and GDER RAs.
  • Coordinate efforts among RA groups on FHB management in hybrid wheat and the CRISPR-CAS9 system for improved FHB resistance.

FY16-17 Milestone Matrix


Summary of Funding
  FY15 (2015-16) FY15 (2015-16)
Number of Projects: 12 10
Number of PIs: 11 10
Total Award Amount: $356,332 $323,677
% Total Rec. Funding: 7.26% 6.69%
Research Projects: FY15 FY16



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