Oregon State University Researchers Develop Stripe Rust Resistant Soft White Winter Wheat

Corvallis, OR—With the baking industry in mind, Oregon State University has developed a higher-yielding soft white winter wheat that's also resistant to the disease stripe rust.

The new cultivar is known as Kaseberg and is ideal for rain-fed and irrigated areas. In field trials, the variety thrived in a number of Pacific Northwest regions, including eastern and western Oregon, southern Idaho and south central Washington.

During two years of testing in Oregon, Kaseberg averaged 136 bushels an acre on land with high rainfall or irrigation – compared with 122 bushels for similar Oregon variety Stephens and 106 for the more recent release Tubbs 06. Under low rainfall conditions, Kaseberg averaged 91 bushels per acre versus 85 for Stephens and 81 for Tubbs 06.

The new variety also resists stripe rust, a fungal disease that can cut yields in half, said Bob Zemetra, OSU's wheat breeder.

"Stripe rust resistance was fairly stable from the 1970s to 1990s,” he said. “Now the disease is changing more frequently, so breeders have to be upgrading resistance constantly."

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