Wheat resistance genes failing,
new approach needed to stop flies
January 25, 2011
By Brian Wallheimer
Many of the genes that allow wheat to ward off Hessian flies are no longer effective in the southeastern United States, and care should be taken to ensure that resistance genes that so far haven't been utilized in commercial wheat lines are used prudently, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture and Purdue University scientists.
An analysis of wheat lines carrying resistance genes from dozens of locations throughout the Southeast showed that some give little or no resistance to the Hessian fly, a major pest of wheat that can cause millions of dollars in damage to wheat crops each year.