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Release of hard winter wheat, TAM 305, with superior rust resistance

It has become evident that wheat production must increase by 60% to meet global demands for food by 2050. Superior wheat cultivars with high yield potential, good end-use quality, and excellent and sustained disease resistance will play a major role in achieving this goal. Such genetic backgrounds are also sought for inclusion in crossing schemes to continue the incremental increase in yield potential.

Two people in wheat fieldTexas plays a critical role in the spread of wheat leaf, stripe, and stem rust throughout much of North America, because it’s one of the only states where these fungal pathogens overwinter. If not controlled, this reservoir of inoculum is carried north by wind as the season progresses, and can produce rust epidemics that negatively affect wheat production across much of the United States.

To address these concerns, the Texas A&M University breeding program has been aggressively developing wheat cultivars, such as TAM 305—described in the Journal of Plant Registrations—with robust resistance to these rust types. These new cultivars also possess high yield potential, good adaptation, tolerance to heat stress, and good end-use quality characteristics.

Growing disease-susceptible wheat in Texas will only contribute to the buildup of rust inoculum, making it important to provide producers with superior cultivars that combine disease resistance with high yield potential and other valued traits. TAM 305 will also be useful for crossing schemes, providing a good parental background without impacting end-use quality and yield potential.