For several years, Kansas wheat producers have been helping to support research on the development of multiple pest-resistant germplasm through the Kansas Wheat Commission.
Recently, this research has identified DNA markers linked to a gene that confers partial resistance to Karnal Bunt.
Laboratory results show that up to 20% of the variation in response to Karnal Bunt was explained by a gene found in a cross between a resistant spring wheat variety from India and a susceptible variety.
These results have been incorporated into genetic crosses in Kansas hard winter wheat varieties and breeding lines in the spring 2001 greenhouse cycle.
The genetic markers linked to Karnal Bunt resistance will be used in the selection of germplasm for the Southern Great Plains.
To continue and expand this effort, USDA in cooperation with Kansas State University, is pursuing a national research initiative for Karnal Bunt. This initiative will focus on the development of resistant wheat varieties.