Items from the United States - North Dakota.






Department of Plant Sciences, Fargo, ND 58078, USA.

W.A. Berzonsky, S.L. Kleven, and G.D. Leach.


1999 growing season and spring wheat production.

Overall, 1999 HRSW production in North Dakota was estimated to be 8 % lower than for 1998. North Dakota growers harvested approximately 5.6 million acres of the 5.9 million acres planted with an average statewide yield of 30 bu/acre. The top HRSW cultivars for acres planted were 2375, Russ, Amidon, and Gunner. These four cultivars accounted for nearly 53 % of all HRSW plantings in North Dakota. Hard white spring wheat production in North Dakota was limited. The acreage consisted mainly of Argent, which has not been classified as a white wheat by the U.S. Federal Grain Inspection Service (GIPSA).

Many ND growers experienced delays in planting because of wet weather, and wet weather at harvest also led to flooding and the abandonment of HRSW acres. In general, losses to FHB throughout the state were not nearly as significant as in previous years. However, losses in 1999 to leaf rust and Septoria leaf spotting were more significant than in previous years. One estimate was that leaf rust caused an average yield loss of 4-8 % throughout the state.


White wheat breeding research activities.

In 1999, Argent, the only North Dakota released HWSW, and 35 advanced North Dakota HWSW lines were evaluated for yield and disease performance in four tests at Casselton and Prosper, ND. Grain samples from separate individual tests from both locations were analyzed for bread-making quality and possible noodle quality using a whole-seed polyphenol oxidase assay. Two advanced North Dakota HWSW lines exhibited significantly higher yield than Argent in two of the four tests, and one line exhibited improved disease resistance across all tests. Twelve lines exhibited bread-making characteristics equivalent to or better than those of Argent. One line exhibited low expression of activity, as indicated by less seed darkening of whole-seeds relative to controls. Therefore, it may produce a better quality noodle product compared with Argent. These data were presented as a poster entitled 'Agronomic Performance and Characterization of North Dakota Hard White Spring Wheat' at the Annual American Society of Agronomy Meetings. Additional data on kernel color and sprouting were presented at the National Association of Wheat Growers Annual Meetings in Las Vegas, NV, in February 2000. Dr. Berzonsky is growing white wheat hybrids and increasing seed in New Zealand, and he is making selections in the New Zealand increase nursery in February 2000. He also will combine his trip to New Zealand with a visit to Perth, W. Australia, to observe white wheat production practices and interact with white wheat breeders and cereal scientists specializing in developing white wheat for noodle quality.



In 1999, students recruited included David Boehm (Plant Sciences Department) and Tami Langstaff (Cereal Science Department). Both students are M.S. degree candidates. David Boehm's advisor is Dr. Berzonsky, and his research involves transferring genes for high protein and low-amylose starch into white wheat genotypes with the help of molecular markers. Dr. Kianian has helped Mr. Boehm identify a PCR marker for a high-protein gene, which will be used to follow transfer of this trait to white wheat. Tami Langstaff's advisors are Drs. Frank Manthey and Monisha Bhattacharya (Cereal Science Assistant Professor with expertise in carbohydrate research). Ms. Langstaff's research focuses on examining the quality characteristics of white wheat genotypes with various levels of amylose starch and how starch variation impacts end-use quality. She has examined nine wheat genotypes, grown in the spring of 1999, for variation in starch characteristics. She reports that three white wheat types appear to have significantly different starch peak viscosity patterns. Whole grain analyses of white wheat samples harvested in 1999 are nearly completed, and samples currently are being milled for processing into noodles for evaluation. As part of a 1999 USDA Alternative Crops Grant, Dr. Michael Peel grew white wheat genotypes at several North Dakota locations under different nitrogen fertility treatments. Samples currently are being evaluated for protein and other quality characteristics. Dr. Patricia Berglund, Director, Northern Crops Institute surveyed over 200 wheat buyers from the Pacific Rim regarding their intended purchases and end-uses for white wheat, and Dr. William Wilson is continuing a market analyses to determine marketing strategies. These will assess the competitiveness of white wheat under current economic conditions in the region.

In 1999, funds for a double-haploid project were provided by the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research, the North Dakota Wheat Commission, and the North Dakota Farmers Union. Double-haploids are produced by 'wheat x maize' crosses. The objectives of this project are to expedite the development of wheat cultivars and rapidly produce homozygous lines for the identification of molecular markers. In 1999, Ms. Sara Kleven was hired as a research specialist to manage the project. The technique was applied originally to a limited number of important F1 hybrids produced for transferring scab resistance, high protein, and/or noodle quality to white spring wheat genotypes. A total of 551 wheat florets were pollinated, and 2 % of these were regenerated into haploid plants. We are working to improve the efficiency of embryo rescue, plant regeneration, and recovery of double-haploid plants.



  • Berzonsky WA and Francki MG. 1999. Biochemical, molecular, and cytogenetic technologies for characterizing 1RS in wheat: a review. Euphytica 108:1-19.
  • Berzonsky WA and Leach GD. 1999. Agronomic performance and characterization of North Dakota hard white spring wheat. Agron Abstr:103.
  • Boehm DJ and Berzonsky WA. 2000. Agronomic performance and characterization of North Dakota hard white spring wheat. In: Proc 3rd Ann Natl Wheat Industry Forum, Las Vegas, NV, 10-11 February, 2000. NAWG Publication. pp. 39-42.