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Project name Effective control of barley yellow dwarf virus in wheat
Funding bodies Grains Research & Development Corporation
Chief Investigators Professor Meixue Zhou

Barley yellow dwarf is a plant disease caused by the barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), and is the most widely distributed viral disease of cereals.

For two consecutive years (2011 and 2012) BYDV became one of the major wheat production issues in the HRZ of southern Australia (Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia).

BYDV is carried mainly by aphids that infect the plant with the virus when feeding on its leaves. The virus is not seed-borne and persists from one growing season to the next in over-summering grasses.

Early application of aphicides as a seed treatment has been recommended and used but has given inconsistent protection, therefore resistance/tolerance is seen as the most viable solution.

The objectives of this project are:

  • to establish one or two sites where infection can be consistent (naturally or through some type of spreader technique);
  • to test current varieties adapted to high rainfall wheat production zones and breeding lines supplied by breeders for YDV resistance/tolerance;to test the impact of the current source of resistance gene Bdv2 derived from Thinopyrum intermedium on yield and grain quality;to provide breeders with useful YDV tolerance or resistance in a minimum of four grower preferred varieties adapted to the HRZ

Read more on the GRDC website.