12th September 2022

Prospects for the genetic control of Septoria tritici

However, this year the first variety to offer high yields and the highest ever Septoria tritici resistance rating LG Sundance has been added to the AHDB Recommended List.

Limagrain UK breeders of LG Sundance, feel optimistic that this step forward in genetic control of Septoria tritici goes some way towards the goal of an almost resistant variety in the future.

As breeders, we are now in a position where we increasingly understand the range of genetics in current varieties and throughout the material we have in our breeding programme, and we know that with this material we can breed for septoria resistances of 6 or 7, explains Ed Flatman, senior wheat breeder for the company.

“However, what has changed is that now we are looking at how novel combinations of some of these genetics can lead to better resistances, such as bringing together parental resistance, which on their own are not significant, but each contribute enough to create an overall better, more robust resistance.”

“The speed at which we are able to analyse the genetics that we have through the use of thousands of markers, allows us to look for trends and narrow these down to specific resistances relatively quickly.”

He points out that this approach was the basis of the breeding programme for Limagrain’s market leading variety Crusoe, which carries a septoria resistance rating of 6.7 – clarified as a 7.

Crusoe’s rating is better than either of its parents, Gulliver (6) and Cordiale (5), and five years since it was recommended the resistance is still holding strong which shows how adding or stacking together smaller elements of resistance can have the desired effect, and be robust enough to withstand ever-changing climatic and disease challenges.”

“It’s a similar story with LG Sundance whose parents Hereward, Viscount and Cassius only offer a maximum  rating of 6, but when combined have a big effect to produce the exciting 7.3 rating that LG Sundance holds.”

Mr Flatman hopes that growers will welcome this genetic tool in terms of variety resistance, and utilise it to its full potential as there is no longer a need to choose yield over disease resistance, as has been the case in the past, considering varieties such as Crusoe and LG Sundance offer both high yields and good septoria resistance.

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