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Current Research Projects

Kansas Wheat Commission FY 2020 Funded Research Projects

Wheat Gene Editing, Eduard Akhunov – $102,620

The existing KSU expertise and infrastructure in wheat genetics, genomics, breeding, wheat transformation and next-generation sequencing provide us unique opportunity to establish the Wheat Gene Editing Platform (WGEP) for targeted engineering of the wheat genome using GE technologies. The WGEP will be used as vehicle for creating novel genetic variation in the Kansas breeding programs by modifying genes controlling major agronomic traits in wheat including but not limited to yield, resistance to pests and pathogens, drought and heat tolerance, end-use and nutritional quality. The WGEP will interact with the public and private wheat breeders and geneticists to devise and implement GE strategies on the traits of interest.

Chromosome Engineering for BYD Germplasm, Bernd Friebe – $41,200

This research is aimed at identifying and evaluating novel sources for BYDV resistance and transfer them into adapted Kansas winter wheat cultivars. So far, only three genes conferring resistance to BYDV have been named (reviewed by Zhang et al. 2009).

Hard Red Winter Wheat Breeding Program, Allan Fritz – $284,604

The primary goal of the program remains to provide commercially relevant wheat varieties to the Kansas wheat industry. The primary focus is on development of hard red winter wheats, with a smaller focus on hard white wheat. An increased focus has been placed on developing quality traits that have the potential to add value for both producers and the industry.

Implementation of Advanced Breeding Technologies, Allan Fritz – $50,000

Objectives: The overarching goal of this work is to implement new, technology‐based approaches to improve genetic gain in wheat for yield, disease resistance and quality.

Identifying QTLs for Heat Tolerance in Wheat, Jianming Fu – $5,000

An effective and pragmatic way for mitigating heat stress damage is to develop tolerant varieties. However, the progress for developing heat-tolerant varieties has been very slow. So far, to the best of our knowledge, no heat-tolerant wheat variety has been developed and released to the farmers in the Great Plains. Applying marker-assisted selection can expedite the breeding process for developing heat-tolerant varieties. Identifying and validating quantitative trait loci (QTLs) is required for developing breeder-friendly markers. Near-isogenic lines (NILs) are excellent materials for validating QTLs.

Biology and Management of Feral Rye, Vipan Kumar – $19,075

Growers mainly rely on herbicide-tolerant (HT) wheat technologies for managing winter annual grassy weeds, including feral rye. However, the response of Kansas feral rye populations to Beyond® and Aggressor™ herbicides is unknown and need to be determined. In addition to information leading to its control, this research would also help in explaining the mechanisms required for feral rye to succeed as a weed in a given agroecosystem.

KS Wheat Quality Lab, Yonghui Li – $98,415

Molecular Mapping of Yellow Rust Resistance, Sanzhen Liu – $39,500

Stripe rust poses a serious threat to wheat production nationwide and it continues to be identified
across counties in Kansas in recent years. We propose to identify stripe rust resistant genetic
components to breed resistant wheat varieties.

Kansas Yield-Enhancing Strategies, Romulo Lollato – $59,452

The overall objective of this proposal is to identify management practices leading to increased grain yields and improved quality in Kansas wheat production using both small plot research and survey of management practices across commercial Kansas wheat fields.

Forecasting Yield Based on Satellite Images/Spring Wheat Research, Lollato – $44,576

Here, we propose two projects into one proposal. The overall objective of each project is to:

Develop empirical models using satellite images collected during the winter wheat growing season to forecast wheat yield using a large database of farmer-reported wheat yields during the 2016, 2017, and 2018 wheat harvest seasons; and
Quantify the yield drag in spring wheats in Kansas when compared to winter wheats, also characterizing the differences in grain protein accumulation between both wheat types.

K-State Wheat Extension Program, Publications and Activities, Lollato – $10,000

Improving Wheat Quality with Balanced Sulfur and Nitrogen Management, Nathan Nelson – $68,391

The goal of this study is to improve the yield and quality of hard red winter wheat in Kansas with balanced sulfur and nitrogen fertilization.

Understanding Interactions of the Wheat Virome, Mite Vector Genome and Wheat Cultivar Composition, Shahideh Nouri – $55,636


Survey selected sites in Kansas wheat production areas to determine the composition of the wheat virome (WSMV, WMoV, TriMV, unknown viruses), and the biotype composition of the wheat curl mite vector.
Determine if wheat varieties at each site contain resistance to virus or mites.

Innovative Approaches to Diminish BYD Epidemics in Kansas Wheat, Jesse Poland – $33,910

1. Identify and characterize new and existing sources of resistance/tolerance to barley yellow dwarf (BYD) (SCREENING, BREEDING and GENETICS)
2. Explore predictors of disease incidence using a master database and monitor BYD virus populations and disease incidence across the state with on‐line mapping tools. (MODELING & MAPPING)

Disease Phenotyping: Determining the Reaction of Wheat lines to Important Diseases, Jessica Rupp – $33,910.

Determine the reaction of wheat breeding lines and commercial wheat cultivars to various diseases.

Biotech Approaches for Trait Enhancement in Wheat, Harold Trick – $50,000

Evaluate transgenic lines for controlling wheat viruses and begin CRISPR-Cas9 targeted mutation of wheat genes the virus needs to replicate.

Hard Red and White Winter Variety Development, Guorong Zhang – $142,000

Development of competitive hard red and hard white winter wheat varieties with the adaption to the semi-arid area in Western Kansas.

Total Funded Projects – $1,187,769