Luisetti Seeds and Plant & Food Research Tackle the “Yield Robbers” Head On

Luisetti_Scald Resistance in BarleyThe Luisetti Seeds/Plant & Food Research cereal breeding programme is the largest cereal breeding operation in New Zealand and both companies have deliberately decided to attempt to breed resistance to the three biggest yield robbers of the New Zealand cereal crop.

Scald Resistance in Barley

Barley breeding lines with resistance against scald have been developed by Luisetti Seeds and Plant & Food Research using the wild relative Hordeum bulbosum as the donor of this resistance. A molecular technique called marker assisted selection
(MAS) was used to track the resistance in crosses with elite cultivars (Booma and Bumpa). Marker assisted selection involves selecting individuals based on their marker pattern (genotype) rather than their observable traits in the field or glasshouse. Following three backcross
generations, markers were also used to determine which lines were genetically similar to Booma and Bumpa whilst also possessing scald resistance. These lines were field trialled for the first time in the 2015-16 season and showed enhanced resistance when compared to their
parental cultivars Booma and Bumpa. Sufficient seed is now available for agronomic evaluation (yield, kernel weight etc.) in the 2016-17 season.

In the meantime, our latest barley cultivar CRBA144 (which topped the F.A.R. autumn sown cultivar trials at Rakaia) offers a substantial improvement in scald resistance compared to existing cultivars. Seed for this cultivar will be available for autumn and spring sowing this year. Contact your Luisetti Seeds Agronomist to secure your seed now.