Navigation Links
A wheat for all seasons -- and reasons
Date:10/16/2007

BUSHLAND The seeds may be lacking for perennial wheat to be grown on any significant basis in Texas, but interest is not, according to Dr. Charlie Rush, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station plant pathologist.

From wheat producers and cattle grazing operators to multiple state plant breeders, Rush is finding a groundswell of interest as he begins planting new varieties and starts a second year on his perennial wheat study.

Rush obtained his initial perennial wheat seed stock from Drs. Steve Jones and Kevin Murphy at Washington State University in 2006. Rushs first interest was in the perennial wheat disease resistance research by Dr. Tim Murray, professor and chair of the plant pathology department, and Jones, a wheat breeder.

He will be looking at perennial lines of wheat wheat that regrows after harvest and may survive for up to five years for use in dual-purpose grain-grazing cropping systems or as a potential feedstock for the cellulosic bioenergy industry.

Perennial crops by their nature increase carbon in the soil, reduce erosion and improve water quality, Rush said. Perennial wheat also offers the chance for producers to put cattle in the field earlier and graze longer in the spring, while still harvesting grain.

Weve been told by producers that having an extra few weeks in March or even early April will be beneficial, because that is when the cattle are putting on the weight, he said.

With perennial wheat straw being harvested for a bioenergy feedstock, Rush said environmental issues are not a problem. The straw can be cut short and the wheat quickly grows back, so the soil doesnt blow.

Were just at the beginning of this work, he said. The perennial lines weve looked at has not been regionally adapted. So thats where we are now. Once we get regionally adapted perennial lines, they will have even greater value.

Rush, as well as Murray and Jones, is joining with Dr. Stan Cox, a wheat breeder with The Land Institute of Salina, Kan. who has been working on developing perennial crops, to do a national study on perennial wheat adaptability. They will be sharing populations of perennial wheat varieties that will be planted in several locations around the country.

Dr. Amir Ibrahim, a wheat breeder and professor with Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences department, and Dr. Brett Carver, Oklahoma State University wheat breeder, also are collaborating in the research.

Carver has been interested in identifying a cool season perennial for several year, primarily for grazing, Rush said. Ibrahim is concentrating on the germplasm traits concerning disease resistance, heat tolerance and drought tolerance.

The studies also are generating international interest, Rush said. He has been contacted by personnel at the Jon Innes Centre in Norwich, England, who want to help the United Kingdom address how agronomic practices affect habitat of and numbers of wild birds. They are looking for low-input perennial cereals and have requested seed from Rushs trials.

In September 2006, Rush planted three replications of 20 lines of perennial wheat provided by Washington State University, plus seven non-perennial varieties already in commercial production in the High Plains, for comparison.

Additionally, the plots were bordered on one side with a variety highly susceptible to wheat streak mosaic virus and on the other with a highly resistant variety.

Disease screening and forage quality sampling using remote imaging techniques to measure the biomass were completed throughout the growing cycle, Rush said.

The first year of research showed the grazing is as good as any annual wheat, and cattle could have been put onto the plots by mid September, he said. The grain production was about half that of annual wheats, as expected.

In the second year of his research, Rush said things will be headed in three directions. First, there will be the perennial wheat trials around the country.

Second, wheats will be crossbred to get regionally adapted lines, he said. The best annual lines of wheat for this region will be crossed with existing perennial wheat lines to adapt the perennial trait into regionally adapted wheat cultivars.

The resulting crosses that display the best agronomic traits and regrowth will be selected and backcrossed with regional wheats, Rush said.

This process will continue for about five years and by that time, we will hopefully have some well-adapted perennial wheats that we can begin to increase seed for early field testing, he said.

The third part of the research is to go back to the first 20 lines of wheat he planted and carry forward the best 11 for further study on agronomic aspects fertilizer, water, insects and diseases.

We have to know if it comes back in the second year and is riddled with disease, he said.

Rush said he will plant the 11 selected lines again in another location, along with letting the original plots regrow.

We didnt know if we would get any regrowth here, and we did, he said.

While the research is exciting and many producers have already contacted him wanting to put out test plots, Rush said it will just take time to get enough seed for on-farm studies.

He also cautioned that this is high-risk research; it is a brand new program for Texas and it may not work in the long run. This is still very preliminary, Rush said. Theres a lot we dont know about this. Thats what makes it exciting. The potential is huge and thats what I am looking at.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlie Rush
crush@ag.tamu.edu
806-354-05804
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Are rice and wheat behind Chinas population boom?
2. Wild grasses and man-made wheats advance research capabilities
3. Virginia Tech helping to develop higher quality, disease-resistant wheat varieties
4. More than drought affecting wheat yields
5. Wheat gene may boost foods nutrient content
6. Rearing an army to save wheat
7. Wheat can fatally starve insect predators
8. Scientists find genes involved in the battle between Hessian flies and wheat
9. Ancient genes used to produce salt-tolerant wheat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... June 1, 2016 Favorable Government ... Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System ... released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market ... Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics ... 2021, on account of growing security concerns across various ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... -- WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research ... the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A ... to a program where they would receive discounts for ... "We were surprised to see that so ... , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... today announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in ... to explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, ... after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived ... debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to ... medical community, has closed its Series A funding round, ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis ... need to meet our current goals," stated Matthew ... runway to complete validation on the current projects in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: