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2-Plants: Non-GE salt-tolerant wheat bred in the U.S.



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                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  New Plants Shrug Off Salinity
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
        by Marcia Wood
        http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan03/salin0103.htm
DATE:   Jan 2003

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New Plants Shrug Off Salinity

Two new lines of salt-tolerant plants from ARS researchers may someday
prove to be a boon not only for wheat growers but also for salt-laden
wildland ecosystems. Salt tolerance in plants is a prized trait. That's
especially true in the irrigated wheat-producing regions of the American
West, where irrigation can accelerate buildup of salts.

Salinity reduces yields by weakening or killing plants. Nationwide, it's
blamed for reducing crop yields by about 25 percent, according to ARS
research geneticist Richard R.-C. Wang. He developed the new breeding
lines, known simply as W4909 and W4910. The work has already attracted
the attention of researchers and plant breeders throughout the United
States and from several other nations as well.

Wang is with the ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory in Logan, Utah.
He's working to demystify the complicated genetics of rangeland plants -
including some that are relatives of wheat. His investigations are key to
making hardier and more nutritious forages for cattle and other livestock
and for wildlife such as deer, elk, and moose. In addition to providing
forages for animals to graze, the improved plants that result from the
Logan lab's research could be used to revegetate rangelands, roadsides,
burned sites, or erosion-prone slopes.

W4909 and W4910 are the progeny of unique parents. One parent contains
genes from wheatgrass, a wild relative of wheat. The second parent
contains what's known as a Ph-inhibitor gene. That gene squelches another
gene, Ph1b, that would otherwise block the transfer of wheatgrass genes
into domestic wheat.

For the research, Wang collaborated with ARS geneticist Steven R. Larson
of the Logan team; Catherine M. Grieve, an ARS plant physiologist at the
ARS George E. Brown, Jr., Salinity Laboratory at Riverside, California;
Michael C. Shannon, formerly at Riverside and now with ARS' Pacific West
Area Office, Albany, California; Abdul Mujeeb-Kazi of the International
Maize and Wheat Improvement Center; and four visiting scientists from
China - Zanmin Hu, Xiaomei Li, Jiyi Zhang, and Xueyong Zhang.

Wang and his co-investigators are the first to use the Ph1b gene-
inhibition technology to incorporate, into wheat genetic material, genes
borrowed from another plant species.

The new plants serve as a handy model for discovering the function of
wheatgrass genes. Explains Wang, "Once the wheatgrass genes are moved
into experimental wheat plants, the genes may become easier for
scientists to access and decipher. This approach not only serves as a
starting point to improve wheat and rangeland plants, but helps us learn
more about wheatgrass genes at the same time."

This research is part of Rangeland, Pasture, and Forages, an ARS National
Program (#205) described on the World Wide Web at http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov.

Richard R.-C. Wang is with the USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research
Laboratory, 695 N. 1100 E., Logan, UT 84322; phone (435) 797-3222, fax
(435) 797-3075.


"New Plants Shrug Off Salinity" was published in the January 2003 issue
of Agricultural Research magazine.



                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  REGISTRATION OF W4909 AND W4910 BREAD WHEAT GERMPLASM LINES WITH
        HIGH SALINITY TOLERANCE
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
        http://www.nal.usda.gov/ttic/tektran/data/000013/74/0000137463.html
DATE:   Jul 25, 2002

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REGISTRATION OF W4909 AND W4910 BREAD WHEAT GERMPLASM LINES WITH HIGH
SALIN ITY TOLERANCE

Author(s):
WANG RICHARD
LARSON STEVEN RICHARD
HORTON WILLIAM H
CHATTERTON N JERRY


Interpretive Summary:

Although variation in salt tolerance was observed among bread and durum
whe at varieties, none of these cultivated crops were as tolerant as some
wild annual and perennial Triticeae species. The most salt tolerant are
species belonging to the genus Thinopyrum. Some of these species have
been crossed to wheat and studies on derived addition or substitution
lines showed that salt tolerance in these perennial grasses is controlled
by multiple genes on several chromosomes. Therefore, transfer of salt
tolerance by introduci ng alien genes into wheat is more complicated than
transfer of pest resista nce that is usually controlled by a single gene.
Partial amphidiploids and disomic addition lines have been synthesized
from the cross Triticum aesti vum X Th.junceum by French scientists. One
disomic addition line had been identified to have usable salt tolerance.
It was crossed with a wheat line having the Ph1 gene from Aegilops
speltoides that suppresses the action of the Ph gene. Through genetic
recombinations this salt tolerance has been transferred into three wheat
translocation lines, two of which are more sal t tolerant than their
parents. These two recombinant lines have been joint ly released by USDA-
ARS and Utah Agricultural Experiment Station. They are now being
registered with the Crop Science Society of America so that whea t
researchers around the world can use these valuable germplasm for improvi
ng salt tolerance in wheat.


Keywords:
breeding genetics physiology molecular genetics genetic markers gene
marki ng germplasm enhancement abiotic stress drought resistance water
use effici ency seedling vigor competition forage quality envasive weeds
legumesgrasse s forbs


Contact:
ARS-FORAGE & RANGE RES UT
AH STATE UNIVERSITY-UMC 6
300 LOGAN UT 84322 
FAX: (435)797-3075
Email: rrcwang@cc.usu.edu


Approved Date: 2002-07-25