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Research BAR-CP


Barley Coordinated Project (BAR-CP)

Protecting U.S. Barley from Fusarium Head Blight and DON.

Barley Coordinated Project Committee  Members as of: 1/1/23
Chair, Tom Baldwin, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
Austin Case, ABInBev - Global Barley Research, Fort Collins, CO
Ashley McFarland, American Malting Barley Association, Duluth, MN

Project Description:

Minimizing the impact of Fusarium head blight (FHB) on barley production in the U.S. requires a multi-dimensional coordinated research effort with focused outputs.  The Barley Coordinated Project (CP) seeks to combine existing lines of productive research with new avenues of investigation to develop a set of tools and disease management strategies that will minimize disease risk and mycotoxin contamination to producers and end-users of barley.  This toolbox will be developed in coordination with other research areas (see below) and will consist of: 1) varieties with enhanced levels of resistance to FHB, lower levels of mycotoxins, superior agronomic performance, and good end-use quality; 2) chemical and biological formulations, application procedures, and a disease forecasting model that maximize efficacy; 3) a set of best management practices that incorporate our current understanding of the tools available to combat this disease; and 4) New tools developed through emerging technology and understanding of the disease to reduce the impact of FHB on barley.

FY22 Research Priorities Derived from Action Plan Goals:

The Barley CP is organized around four of the Research Areas (RA) outlined in the USWBSI Action Plan.  A set of 14 objectives are established within these four RAs that the CP will address either directly or indirectly via coordination with these other RAs.

I. Variety Development and Host Resistance (VDHR)

Objective 1. Increase and document the number of released barley varieties from public programs with improved FHB resistance, 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.
Objective 2. Increase efficiency of coordinated barley breeding programs to develop and release FHB resistant varieties. This includes added resources to T3 database and increased efficiency on scoring barley for resistance.
Objective 3. Evaluate and implement modern breeding technologies to further enhance short term and long-term improvement of FHB resistance in barley, and to efficiently introgress effective resistance genes into barley germplasm. This includes enhanced selection efficiency through technologies such as genomic selection, marker-assisted selection, doubled haploid production and/or high throughput phenotyping and utilization of speed breeding techniques.

II. Gene Discovery and Engineering Resistance (GDER)

Objective 4. Identify native and induced barley gene variants that improve FHB resistance and/or reduce DON accumulation.
Objective 5. Develop assays that can be used to rapidly validate candidate barley genes for resistance or susceptibility to FHB and/or reduced DON accumulation.
Objective 6. Utilize new technologies to develop effective FHB resistance and/or reduced DON accumulation in barley.

III. Pathogen Biology and Genetics (PBG)

Objective 7. Identify important genes, proteins or small molecules produced during the barley-fungal interaction that may be used to develop FHB resistance or to reduce DON contamination in barley.
Objective 8. Develop new understanding about molecular regulators (transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, epigenetic factors) of fungal development (e.g., asexual and sexual development, growth and development, infection structures) during initial infection that may be utilized to boost FHB resistance. This would include mechanisms controlling fungal secretion (ER, Golgi, endosomes, exosomes), and regulators which may be targeted to prevent FHB disease and toxin contaminations in barley.
Objective 9. Develop an improved understanding of plant-pathogen interactions in relation to abiotic factors, and identify genes or genetic variants that contribute to pathogen adaptation to barley agroecosystems.
Objective 10. Develop novel RNAi based strategies targeting critical genes for fungal growth, pathogenesis, and/or mycotoxin biosynthesis to control FHB and mycotoxin contamination in barley.
Objective 11. Identify epiphytic or endophytic microbes or microbial communities or viruses that may be useful for development of effective biological control practices for FHB in barley.
Objective 12. . Investigate how genotypic and phenotypic diversity in populations of FHB-causing Fusarium, including diversity of Fusarium species complexes, influences the management of FHB. Priority aspects of pathogen diversity include fungicide sensitivity, mycotoxin profiles, and ability to cause severe disease on widely used sources of genetic resistance in barley.

IV. FHB Management (MGMT)

Objective 13. Develop integrated management strategies for FHB and mycotoxins that are robust to conditions experienced in production fields of barley.
Objective 14. Develop and validate the next generation of management tools, forecasting models, and fungicide application technologies for FHB and mycotoxin control in barley.


Summary of Funding
  FY22 (2022-23) FY21 (2021-22)
Number of Projects: 23 (includes 1 multi-PI) 27 (includes 4 multi-PI)
Number of PIs: 21 19
Total Award Amount: $1,228,602 $1,191,902
% of Total Funding: 14.19% 13.77%
Research Projects: FY22 FY21


Research Reports/Publications

Workshop/Planning Meeting Reports

Northern American Barley Scab Evaluation Nursery (NABSEN) Reports/Updates Reports posted for past 5 years, prior reports available in the USWBSI Documents Database