New BYDV-resistant wheats standing up to intense disease pressure

Wheat varieties with resistance to barley yellow dwarf virus are continuing to deliver outstanding control of the disease even under intense pressure in RAGT’s latest trials.

Bdv line v non-Bdv line under extreme pressure in 2021

The first assessment of virus symptoms in this season’s trial, which compares several near-market, high-performance BYDV-resistant varieties against a selection of widely grown Recommended List wheats, is already showing marked differences.


The plots were sown early in September and have been inoculated several times during the season with BYDV-infected aphids to create as much disease pressure as possible.


As in previous years the BYDV-resistant wheats plots are showing no symptoms obviously associated with the disease, but conventional varieties are all affected to varying degrees, with some already showing significant effects.


Plots will continue to be scored weekly for disease symptoms to produce a final visual assessment score, and viral loads will be assessed in the lab prior to harvest. All plots will be taken to yield.


RAGT’s Tom Dummett says: “We are expecting a repeat of the last two years when all the inoculated conventional winter wheats exhibited severe BYDV symptoms, including multiple infection sites, and produced lower yields, up to 18% last year.”

Tom Dummett predicts that, as last year, there will be plenty of BYDV in conventional varieties

Visitors to RAGT’s open days in June will be able to see the plots for themselves and make their own judgements on the efficacy of the gene, says Tom.


“By the time we hold our open days we’ll be looking at chalk and cheese. We’ve already received good feedback, with people saying the trial gives them confidence in using the gene.”


The resistance gene, Bdv2, was commercially launched in Europe in RGT Wolverine in 2019. RAGT is the only plant breeder to offer BYDV-resistant wheat in Europe.


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