Researchers developing wheat resistant to mites, diseases
The next step, Smith said, will be for Fritz’s group to determine the yield potential and quality of the grain in the new breeding line. That will likely take two to three years as the seed becomes available and is planted in various parts of the state.
“There are 300 different soil types in Kansas alone,” he said, adding that soil type is just one of many variables that affects how a wheat variety performs. Planting date, moisture and temperature through the crop year are among the many other variables.
“Our next and final step is to nail down resistance to the Triticum mosaic virus,” Smith said, adding that he’s optimistic the team will be successful, but that the odds of finding it in the lines with resistance to the mite and the other two viruses are reduced.
“It’s not unreasonable to think that in three or four years, we’ll have a new variety that is resistant to this mite and the diseases it carries,” Smith said.
More information about wheat curl mites and the viruses they carry is available on the K-State Department of Entomology website: http://entomology.k-state.edu/extension/insect-information/crop-pests/wheat/curlmite.html.
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