Alberta Barley

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Developing barley germplasm with improved resistance to Fusarium head blight for Western Canada

Project lead:
Dr. W.G. Legge
Scientist, Barley Breeding and Genetics
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2018


Alberta Barley funding: project management
Total funding from other partners: $713,489

Benefits for barley farmers
This activity will reduce mycotoxin content, mainly deoxynivalenol (DON), in barley germplasm and varieties, which would enhance safety of barley products throughout the industry and increase marketability, resulting in greater returns to producers and the industry. It also provided DON data for the registration tests and FHB ratings for varieties to producers through provincial seed guides or fact sheets.

Project summary
The project aims to develop barley germplasm for western Canada in all classes of barley with improved fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance. Thousands of barley lines were evaluated and selected in the 2013 FHB nurseries, with promising lines advanced as appropriate, and new crosses were made to improve FHB resistance.

Recent developments
The Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) nurseries at AAFC Brandon, Morden, Ottawa and Charlottetown were all successful and provided useful DON data for all tests in 2015, including critical tests of common interest like the Western Cooperative Barley Registration Tests, New and Current Varieties Test, and North American Barley Scab Evaluation Nursery (NABSEN). Both the Brandon and Morden FHB nurseries provided DON data for the registration tests in 2015. The Brandon nursery also provided data to update FHB ratings for varieties to producers through provincial seed guides or fact sheets.Lines with promising FHB resistance from all breeding programs were evaluated and will be advanced as appropriate to tests in 2016, and new crosses were made for FHB resistance. All samples were analyzed for DON content by ELISA at the Ottawa lab by the end of March.

TR10214 and AAC Connect (TR12225) are two-row malting barley lines with improved FHB resistance that were supported for registration recommendation by the Prairie Recommending Committee for Oat and Barley in 2013 and 2015, respectively. They are a result of this project, but will be reported under Activity 2 of the Barley Cluster.

Objectives for the upcoming year
Project is ongoing with the same main objectives next year.

Last updated June 2016