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Research HWW-CP


Hard Winter Wheat Coordinated Project (HWW-CP)


Hard Winter Wheat Coordinated Project Committee  Members as of: 1/1/23
Chair, Jessica Rupp, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Shaukat Ali, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
Sunish Seghal, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD


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 (as measured by reducing DON) 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, TX, 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.

Figure 1. Flow-chart of HWW-CP activities.


FY22 Research Priorities Derived from Action Plan Goals:

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.  Three 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 and document the number of varieties with improved FHB resistance and high grain yield and grain quality that are tested in statewide variety trials and available to farmers, to reduce DON in the US grain supply.

Associated Research Activities:

  • Increase efficiency of coordinated project breeding programs to develop and release FHB resistant varieties.  Enhance cooperation and coordination of research among USWBSI supported programs.   For example, phenotypic data should be uploaded to the T3 database, and early generation populations would be shared among programs.
  • 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.
  • Test and evaluate regional germplasm to include breeding lines from the public (including programs which are not part of the CP, but develop lines which may be grown within the scab prone regions of the CP) and private breeding programs as well as irrigated field nurseries representative of all FHB environments throughout the region.
Objective 2. Evaluate and implement new breeding technologies and germplasm to further enhance short-term and long-term improvement of FHB resistance and to efficiently introgress effective resistance genes into breeding germplasm.

Associated Research Activities:

  • Create new genetic resources and efficiently introgress resistance genes into breeding germplasm for long-term improvement in FHB resistance.  Example: New sources of FHB resistance should be introgressed into winter backgrounds and rapidly tested in mist nurseries to quantify their level of resistance.
  • Enhance selection efficiency through technologies such as genomic selection, marker-assisted selection, doubled haploid production leading to pyramiding of major and minor genes for FHB resistance.
  • Develop high throughput phenotyping technologies to increase selection accuracy for FHB resistance in the field, greenhouse, and seed lab (Disease severity, incidence, Fusarium Damaged Kernels (FDK))
Objective 3. Enhance communication and coordination to increase the impact of our research beyond the region.

Associated Communication Activities:

  • 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.

Associated Coordination Activities:

  • Coordinate efforts among RA groups on FHB management in hybrid wheat and the CRISPR-CAS9 system for improved FHB resistance.


Summary of Funding
  FY22 (2022-23) FY21 (2021-22)
Number of Projects: 10 11 (includes 1 multi-PI)
Number of PIs: 10 9
Total Award Amount: $637,226 $558,699
% of Total Funding: 7.36% 6.45%
Research Projects: FY22 FY21




Research Reports/Publications

Workshop/Planning Meeting Reports

Hard Winter Wheat Nursery Reports/Updates Reports posted for past 5 years, prior reports available in the USWBSI Documents Database