Research Project

Developing multiple disease resistances in barley and triticale

“Crop and livestock industries will benefit from Alberta’s ability and long time reputation to produce high quality and safe feed and food products”

How will this research help increase the competitiveness and profitability of Alberta’s agriculture industry?

This research project aims to identify and develop multiple disease resistance to fusarium head blight (FHB) and scald (Rhynchosporium
commune) of barley, and FHB and ergot (Claviceps purpurea) of triticale through field screening. Identification and validation of resistance under field conditions is essential to develop cultivars with disease resistance. Prevention, reduction in yield losses and lower levels of mycotoxins can be achieved using resistant varieties as one of the major strategies for disease management. The use of resistant cultivars will benefit cereal producers by reducing input cost and increasing profits, ultimately upholding Alberta’s reputation to provide safe grain products for animal and human consumption.

Why did RDAR invest in this research project?

The development of disease resistant commercial barley and triticale varieties will directly benefit Alberta barley and triticale producers. The improved market quality of new varieties will increase their acceptance by maltsters, provide mycotoxin-free products for end-user consumption and thus, down-grading of the commodity can be avoided. Furthermore, the use of resistant cultivars can increase productivity by reducing yield and quality losses, and fungicide use. Ultimately, the producer can reduce their input costs and increase profitability, while mitigating the threat of FHB, scald and ergot.

How will this project and its knowledge be transferred and shared with producers?

Information on disease ratings will be used to update the annual Alberta Seed Guide for producers, agronomists and industry. Knowledge about identified genes and molecular markers associated with loci in the varieties or germplasm will be presented in seminars and conferences, or used for publication in refereed journals. Knowledge about disease management, especially using resistant varieties, will be disseminated to producers, agronomists, seed growers, and other industry professionals in the form of presentations at the producer / industry meetings, seminars and additional tours for producer and private groups.