High yield and topnotch quality new hard spring wheat cultivars will soon be released to Idaho producers
Wheat Breeding and Genetics Program, led by Dr. Jianli Chen, released several good wheat cultivars that are present in wheat production in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. ‘UI Silver,’ ‘UI Stone’, ‘UI Platinum’, ‘UI SRG’, ‘UI Sparrow’, and ‘UI Cookie’ are some good examples of wheat varieties released from her program. UI Silver (a Hard White Winter), UI SRG (a Hard Red Winter), and UI Sparrow (a Soft White Winter) are doing well under current drought conditions and helped dryland growers combat the increasing level of drought stress in 2021. UI Stone (Soft White Spring) and UI Platinum (Hard White Spring) have been taking acres under irrigated conditions in Idaho since 2013. UI Cookie (Soft White Spring) is a new release in 2020. It is doing well in both dryland and irrigated production in 2021 and certified seed will be available for producers in the spring of 2022.
Recently, Jianli’s program developed four new spring wheat cultivars that can be released soon to Idaho producers. ‘IDO1804S’ is a high yielding Hard White Spring, has compatible grain yield to Dayn and significant quality improvement to UI Platinum. This cultivar is adapted in both irrigated and dryland production. Foundation seed will be planted this spring. ‘IDO2002S’ is adapted for irrigated production and has higher grain yield, better resistance to stripe rust, and improved bread baking quality over UI Platinum. ‘IDO2104HF’ is a new Hard White Spring wheat that has very good resistance to Hessian Fly and Stripe Rust as well as topnotch bread baking quality in addition to high grain yield. ‘IDO2202CL2’ is a Hard Red Spring wheat that has two resistant genes to herbicide Beyond on the top of high grain yield and excellent bread baking quality. Pre-foundation seed for IDO2002S, IDO2104HF, and IDO2202CL2 will be planted this spring.
Dr. Chen also obtained two competitive grants from USDA-ARS NIFA AFRI with the total award 1.3 million dollars to use a high throughput phenotyping platform ‘drone’ and high throughput sequence-based genotyping platform to improve grain yield and resistance to a fungal disease known as ‘dwarf bunt’, a critical disease for organic farming. These basic research projects will facilitate cultivar development and provide training for two Ph.D students and two postdoctoral fellows in the coming five years.