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  • Author or Editor: A. Morgounov x
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Winter wheat yield in three administrative regions of Kazakhstan (Almaty, South Kazakhstan, and Zhambyl) was analyzed during 1972-2009. Yield gains were greatest during 2000–2009, but absolute yields remain low (1.5–1.7 t/ha) and much below the production potential. Changes in important weather parameters over the same time period were also analyzed. Results indicated significant (15–20%) warming in winter and spring, as well as some increase in precipitation (spring and annual), especially in the last ten years. Increased temperatures in winter and precipitation in spring/annually were positively correlated with winter wheat yield, while increased temperatures in May had a small but negative effect on grain yield. Data from the four stations of the official variety testing system from 1972–2009 were also analyzed to evaluate the effect of variety on yield and quality. Genetic gain of the varieties released in the 1990s and 2000s, compared to Bezostaya 1 (1960s), was around 30%. However, the bread-making quality of new varieties, as well as the overall grain quality in variety trials, were reduced in protein content, with deteriorated dough physical properties, and therefore did not meet superior class requirements. Genetic diversity (coefficient of parentage and Shannon’s diversity index) of the winter wheat varieties tested in the 2000s was broader compared to the 1970s and 1980s, reflecting enhanced international cooperation and germplasm exchange. A negative association between genetic diversity parameters and some quality traits can be attributed to the utilization of more diverse high yielding parents with limited grain quality potential. Further yield increases and reductions in the yield gap should be based on improved agronomy, and the use of broadly-adapted varieties, with resistance to the biotic and abiotic stresses likely due to climate change.

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A collection of 110 wheat varieties from different agroecological zones in Central Asia and the Caucasus (CAC), Russia, and Ukraine were evaluated for growth habit (winter, facultative, spring), growth type (prostrate versus erect), days to heading, resistance to yellow rust and leaf rust, and quality traits. The study was conducted at the experimental farms of International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) at Terbol in Lebanon and Tel Hadya in Syria to identify promising rust resistant wheat cultivars and lines that can be used in crossing program by cooperative Turkey-CIMMYT-ICARDA winter wheat breeding program. The study also aimed to assess the distribution of winter versus facultative versus spring types in the regional gene pool. Higher frequencies of winter types occurred in germplasm from Ukraine, Russia, southern Kazakhstan, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Georgia, whereas the frequencies of spring wheat in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan were 33% and 20%, respectively. There were significant correlations between growth type, and both growth habit and cold tolerance ( r = 0.600*** and 0.57**). This indicates that winter wheat varieties tend to be prostrate and cold tolerant, whereas facultative and spring wheats have are more erect and cold sensitive. Among the tested material 60% of varieties were resistant to yellow rust and 44%—to leaf rust. More than 20 genotypes demonstrated resistance to both rusts and useful variation for other traits proving good parents for crosses.

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Hexaploid synthetic wheat, derived from crosses between durum wheat and Aegilops tauschii, is widely accepted as an important source of useful traits for wheat breeding. During 2015 and 2016, three groups of synthetics were studied in Azerbaijan (3 sites) and Russia (1 site). Group 1 comprised CIMMYT primary synthetics derived from eastern European winter durum wheats crossed to Ae. tauschii accessions from the Caspian Sea basin. Group 2 included lines derived from CIMMYT synthetics × bread wheat crosses. Group 3 consisted of synthetics developed in Japan by crossing durum variety Langdon with a diverse collection of Ae. tauschii accessions. Varieties Bezostaya-1 and Seri were used as checks. Group 1 synthetics were better adapted and more productive than those in group 3, indicating that the durum parent plays an important role in the adaptation of synthetics. Compared to Bezostaya-1 synthetics produced fewer spikes per unit area, an important consideration for selecting bread wheat parents for maintenance of productivity. Synthetics had longer spikes but were not generally free-threshing. All synthetics and derivatives had 1000-kernel weights comparable to Bezostya-1 and significantly higher than Seri. All primary synthetics were resistant to leaf rust, several to stem rust, and few to stripe rust. Superior genotypes from all three groups that combine high expression of spike productivity traits and stress tolerance index were identified.

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The genetic diversity of 116 spring bread wheat cultivars released in Kazakhstan from 1929-2004 was studied by means of a genealogical analysis. The tendency of genetic diversity to change over time was traced by analysing a series of n ´ m matrices, where n is the number of released cultivars and m is the number of landrace ancestors. The pool of landrace ancestors of spring wheat cultivars in 1929-2004 contained a total of 114 landraces and old varieties, including 19 from Kazakhstan and Central Asia and 23 from neighbouring regions of Russia. The original ancestors differ significantly in frequency of presence and hence in their importance in the genepool of spring wheats cultivated in Kazakhstan. Significant differences in the contributions of dominant ancestors to cultivars for various regions have been revealed, showing that those ancestors were specifically adapted to different growing conditions. During the past 75 years, genetic diversity has increased due to the wide use of foreign materials in breeding programmes. A more detailed study has shown that during the period analysed, 15 landraces from Kazakhstan and neighbouring regions of Central Asia and Russia (35% of local germplasm) were lost from the pedigrees. The cluster structure of modern cultivars included in the Kazakhstan Official List (2002) was established. By analysing coefficients of parentage, significant differences in the genetic diversity of cultivars from various growing regions were revealed.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: A. Kokhmetova, A. Madenova, G. Kampitova, R. Urazaliev, M. Yessimbekova, A. Morgounov and L. Purnhauser

Leaf rust, caused by Puccinia recondita f. sp. tritici, is one of the major diseases of wheat in Kazakhstan. To effectively use leaf rust resistance genes (Lr), it is important for breeders to know the resistance genotype in current cultivars. In this study, 30 winter wheat entries grown and/or produced in Kazakhstan were investigated using molecular markers to determine the presence and absence of eight important Lr genes. Molecular screening of these genotypes showed contrasting differences in the frequencies of these genes. Among the 30 entries, 17 carried leaf rust resistance gene Lr1, six had Lr26 and Lr34, and Lr10 and Lr37 were found in three cultivars. Two single cultivars separately carried Lr19 and Lr68, while Lr9 was not detected in any genotypes in this study. Field evaluation demonstrated that two of the most frequent two genes (Lr1 and Lr26) to be ineffective. While Lr34 provided some protection, the remaining effective Lr genes were found only in few genotypes: Lr37 occurred in Kazakh genotypes L-1090 and Krasnovodapadskaya 210 and in the US cultivar Madsen; Lr19 and Lr68 were likely present only in Russian and Kazakh cultivars, Pallada and Yegemen, respectively. The highest resistance over three years of leaf rust testing was found in Kazakh cultivars, Karasay, Krasnovodapadskaya 210, L-1090, Arap and Yegmen, foreign cultivars Madsen, Pallada and the control Parula (Lr68). Data may assist breeders to incorporate effective Lr genes into new cultivars.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: G. Balázs, S. Tömösközi, A. Harasztos, V. Németh, Á. Tamás, A. Morgounov, I. Belan, W. Ma and F. Békés

Based on previous research on validating lab-on-a-chip data on wheat protein analysis, a comprehensive work has been carried out with the intent to demonstrate the potential of the technique for wheat related fundamental research, breeding and food industry. Sample preparation and separation methodologies were investigated for the main wheat polypeptide classes: albumins, globulins, gliadins and glutenin subunits (GS). The work was carried out on a sample population originated from Western Siberia with different genetic background providing data, and characterizing their potential interest for future breeding work. LOC results are compared with corresponding reference methods (MALDI-TOF and RP-HPLC). The research revealed that, the current technology is capable for fast profile analysis, recognizing the minor qualitative, and typical quantitative differences in the albumin and globulin protein composition. While the gliadin separation showed poor results, the method seems to be able to identify the high molecular glutenin allelic composition, and to differentiate some of the low molecular weight glutenin alleles, too. Our results provide new insights into a possible rapid and simple way for grain protein profiling.

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