Plant breeding aimed at the development of new highly-adaptive soft winter wheat varieties capable of most fully meeting the ever growing demands of Russian farmers is underway in the fields of Zashchitnoye. The project is carried out by the department of plant breeding and early generation seed production.
The recent years’ plant breeding work has resulted in the creation of unique universal-type soft winter wheat varieties, whose genotype strikes a balance of almost incompatible economic traits such as high yield, grain quality and resistance to biotic and abiotic environmental factors. The genetics of the universal-type varieties uniquely brings together the biologically valuable traits of intensive varieties and the adaptive properties of semi-intensive ones, thus ensuring consistently good yields of high quality grain regardless of climatic conditions and previous crops.
In 2016, three new varieties of soft winter wheat were submitted for state registration into State Commission of the Russian Federation for Selection Achievements Test and Protection, including:
1. Alioth (lutescens), a medium stature, mid-maturing variety of universal type of use. Potential yield is 11.0 tonnes/ha, maximum yield is 10.4 tonnes/ha (Shchigry state testing plot). Alioth is suitable for growing in various soil conditions and following different previous crops, under both conventional and intensive technology, but the full potential reveals itself in fertile soil. The variety exhibits high frost tolerance and lodging resistance. In terms of grain quality, it is a medium- strong wheat. It is distinguished by high shatter resistance as well as resistance to kernel sprouting in the ear in case of delayed harvesting and rainfall.
2. Sheratan (erythrospermum), a mid-maturing variety of universal type of use for medium to good soil conditions after different previous crops. The genetic yield potential reaches 11.5 tonnes/ha, maximum yield is 10.9 tonnes/ha (Shchigry State Testing Plot). Sheratan is a short stature variety with improved lodging resistance, high frost tolerance and winter hardiness. It is a strong wheat variety which sells as high-quality food grain. The consistently high, genetically determined yield is secured by the combination of optimum productive tillering (from 670 up to 750 productive tillers per 1 sq. m) with high ear grain content (57-69 kernels per ear). It is very responsive to improved soil conditions. The maximum yield may be obtained by growing the variety in intensive crop farming.
3. Cepheus (erythrospermum), a mid-maturing variety of universal type of use. The yield potential is 11.0 tonnes/ ha, maximum yield is 10.7 tonnes/ha (Shchigry state variety testing plot). It is suitable for growing in different soil conditions and preceding crops in both conventional and intensive crop farming. Medium stature, high frost tolerance, lodging resistance, mediumstrong wheat in terms of grain quality.
The variety is distinguished by exceptionally high flexibility and consistent yields in different climatic and soil conditions. The maximum output and yield potential is reached in intensive crop farming.
The new universal-type varieties have a genetically determined lower bottom yield threshold, respond to good soil condition with a sharp rise in performance while staying capable of using medium input in a most efficient way, which makes them economically valuable for Russian farmers.
By Andrey ZVYAGIN, Head of Plant Breeding and Early Generation Seed Production Department