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Trait Stacking to Maximize Resistance to Wheat Midge

  • Start date: January, 2022
  • Project Length: 3.5 Years
  • Project Status: In Progress


Since 2007, producers have had access to midge-resistant spring wheat cultivars across all major spring wheat market classes. The midge-resistant cultivars rely on the Sm1 gene, which has recently been cloned (Walkowiak et al., 2020) using the CWRS cultivar CDC Landmark assembly and confirmed in assemblies of two European cultivars. The Sm1 gene is currently the only resistance gene identified and it has been 'protected' by including a susceptible refuge (10% content in variety blends) in Western Canada. Other countries have not included a refuge. Thus, there is a risk that the Sm1 resistance may be overcome elsewhere in wheat producing regions of the world, and the resulting resistant insect biotype could then migrate or be introduced to Canada and put wheat production at risk. This proposal will genetically combine and evaluate other "modes of action" to help protect the breakdown of Sm1. This project will build on a project led by Dr. Tyler Wist (AAFC, SRDC) and stack the oviposition deterrance (OD) trait with the hairy glume trait (HG) with Sm1.

The results from this project will help determine whether it is possible to enhance the effects of the Sm1 gene in terms of protecting the grain yield of spring wheat, as well as increasing the quality/grade of the harvested crop. Furthermore, if the OD and pubescence traits can reduce the risk of the Sm1 gene being overcome, the longevity of the Sm1 gene will be extended. Both of the deliverables have significant economic implications.

  • 1: To assess the effectiveness of stacking the oviposition deterrence (OD trait) and antibiosis (Sm1) traits in CWRS wheat
  • 2: To stack glume pubescence (HG trait) with the OD and Sm1 sources of insect tolerance in CWRS wheat
Manitoba Crop Alliance Funding:


Total Funding Approved:


Funding Partners: