Items from the United States - Idaho.




Plant and Soil Science Department, Moscow, ID 83343, USA, and the Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box AA, Aberdeen, ID 83210, USA

R. Zemetra, E. Souza, S. Guy, L. Robertson, B. Brown, N. Bosque-Pérez, J. Hansen, K. O'Brien, M. Guttieri, D. Schotzko, T. Koehler, L. Sorensen, J. Clayton, Zhiwu Li, and M. Rehman.

Production. [p. 168]

The 2002 Idaho winter wheat production was 54.5 x 10^6^ bu, an 11 % increase from 2001. Although both acreage planted and acreage harvested decreased compared to 2001, the reduction in acreage was offset by an increase in average yield from 73 bu/acre to 79 bu/acre. Moisture was limiting in some areas in the late spring and summer resulting in lower test weight. Autumn and winter conditions were not conducive for root/crown diseases of winter wheat. In northern Idaho, the highest incidence of stripe rust in recent years was observed, especially in spring wheat. Statistics for the Idaho winter wheat production for the last 5 years are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Statistics for the Idaho winter wheat production for the last 5 years, 1998-2002.


 Acres planted

x 1,000

 Acres harvested

x 1,000



 Yield (bushels)

x 1,000

 1998  820  770  82  63,140
 1999  760  710  76  53,960
 2000  780  730  90  65,700
 2001  760  710  73  51,830
 2002  730  690  79  54,510

Personnel. [p. 169]

Manish Kumar joined the wheat breeding/genetics program in Moscow as a graduate student in the wheat straw lignin modification program. Zhiwu Li completed his Ph.D. research on gene silencing in transgenic wheat. Bob Zemetra started his sabbatical at Oregon State University conducting research on the potential for gene migration from wheat to jointed goatgrass and developing molecular markers for resistance genes of diseases of wheat in the Pacific Northwest.


Cultivar development. [p. 169]

The SWWW advanced line 91-34302A from the Moscow program is being considered for release. The proposed name for 91-34302A is Simon. Line 91-34302A has good yield potential in both rainfed and irrigated regions of Idaho and is the first potential Idaho release with Pch1, a gene for resistance to Pseudocercosporella footrot.


Wheat molecular biology. [p. 169]

In the wheat straw, lignin-reduction project, four copies of the CCR1 gene in the lignin biosynthesis pathway have been isolated from the cultivar Hubbard. The genes are currently being sequenced. An antisense form of CCR1 has been introduced into spring and winter wheat cultivars using particle bombardment in an attempt to lower the percent lignin in wheat straw.

Zhiwu Li completed his Ph.D. research on silencing of transgenes coding for a WSMV coat-protein gene in wheat. He found that by germinating transgenic seed in 5-azacytidine, gene silencing was reversed and WSMV coat protein was again expressed in the treated wheat seedlings. The expression of the coat protein reduced virus titer of WSMV after inoculation. The effect of the 5-azacytidine ended after 12-15 days leading to silencing of the coat protein and increased virus titer. The ability to reverse gene silencing by 5-azacytidine indicated that methylation was the primary cause of gene silencing in these transgenic lines.

In an additional study, we found that the copy number of introduced genes in transgenic plants could be estimated more efficiently using RT-PCR compared to Southern analysis.


Publications. [p. 169]

  • Bosque-Pérez NA, Johnson JB, Schotzko DJ, and Unger L. 2002. Species diversity, abundance, and phenology of aphid natural enemies on spring wheats resistant and susceptible to Russian wheat aphid. BioControl 47:667-684.
  • Cervantes DE, Eigenbrode SD, Ding H-J, and Bosque-Pérez NA. 2002. Oviposition responses by Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, to wheats varying in surfaces waxes. J Chem Ecol 28(1):177-184.
  • McCarthy PL, Hansen JL, Zemetra RS, and Berger PH. 2002. Rapid identification of transformed wheat using a half-seed PCR assay. BioTechniques 32:560-564.
  • Schotzko DJ and Bosque-Pérez NA. 2002. Relationship between Hessian fly infestation density and early seedling growth of resistant and susceptible wheat. J Agric Urban Ent (in press).
  • Souza E, Bosque-Pérez NA, Schotzko DJ, Guttieri MJ, and O'Brien K. 2002. Registration of three wheat germplasms resistant to Diuraphis noxia. Crop Sci 42:319-320.
  • Wang Z, Zemetra RS, Hansen J, Hang A, Mallory-Smith CA, and Burton C. 2002. Determination of the paternity of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) x jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica Host) BC1 plants using genomic in situ hybridization technique. Crop Sci 42:939-943.
  • Zemetra RS, Mallory-Smith CA, Hansen J, Wang Z, Snyder J, Hang A, Kroiss L, Riera-Lizarazu O, and Vales I. 2002. The evolution of a biological risk program: gene flow between wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica Host). In: Proc Scientific Methods Workshop: Ecological and Agronomic Consequences of Gene Flow from Transgenic Crops to Wild Relatives, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Pp. 178-187.
  • Zemetra RS, Lauver ML, O'Brien K, Koehler T, Souza EJ, Guy SO, Robertson L, and Brown B. 2003. Registration on 'Brundage 96' wheat. Crop Sci (in press).