Sm1, first identified in soft red winter wheat varieties in the 1990s, was deliberately bred in spring wheat varieties published in 2010 by the CDC and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Last spring, CDC researchers with a marker associated with Sm1 discovered that most SWS varieties already naturally contain the gene in their genetic background. The proportion of CWRS sown in MTW has decreased in recent years due to the relatively dry weather, which has led to a decrease in mosquito pressure. Last year, about eight percent of the total area of the Prairie SSRSR was mosquito tolerant. Hyra says MTW`s “real home” is Saskatchewan, while acres in Alberta and Manitoba were weaker. “Seed customers are content with mosquitoes and have moved to other varieties that offer a shorter, stronger straw or better fusarium suppression.” “The new system creates a state-of-the-art way to manage the responsibility of mosquito-tolerant wheat while making the process highly efficient for anyone using this valuable technology,” said Rod Merryweather, CEO of FP Genetics, one of six official distributors of mosquito-tolerant wheat in Western Canada. “This is a big step forward in protecting this valuable trait so that no resistance develops,” he adds, noting that mosquito-tolerant wheat continues to “provide $36 per acre of value to those who use it each year.” This approach is important because there is only one gene – Sm1 – with the resistant trait. Its continued success depends on producers signing agreements that limit the use of seeds stored in agriculture to one generation after certification. According to SeCan, mosquito tolerance saves growers $36 per acre, for a total of $40 million to $60 million per year. There are no other known mosquito tolerance genes if Sm1 stops working.
To be clear, only 10 percent of the seeds on these acres were susceptible to mosquitoes, and that was the reason for the continued success of the remaining 90 percent in keeping the animals at bay. If 100% of the varieties were tolerant, the small percentage of mosquitoes that could avoid the resistant trait would survive and reproduce and eventually become the dominant population, similar to unuters, become herbicide resistant. They are both susceptible to mosquitoes, but they have moderate resistance to fusarium. A third, AAC Castle, has mosquito tolerance, medium fusarium resistance and good straw resistance. The second mechanism concerns the chemical compounds in wheat that prevent the female mosquito from laying eggs on wheat heads. This mechanism is called “egg deterrence” and is not as common in wheat cultivation. Most programs are based on resistance based on Sm1. AC Conquer VB is the only mosquito-tolerant Canadian prairie spring wheat.
Derkatch says it`s a good choice for farmers who buy certified seeds of a new variety. It offers a yield of 25 to 30 percent on a standard CWRS variety, he says. “We use the database to find anomalies in purchasing behavior. If someone comes back every two years and buys mosquito wheat, there may be random audits, but they are probably compliant. Maybe some have left farming or the variety hasn`t worked for them, and it doesn`t matter, but this will be the follow-up debate we`re going to have,” Hyra says. All purchases of tolerant mosquito wheat are recorded in a database. Farmers can be audited to ensure they are complying with the escling agreement. But along with other scientists from AAFC, the University of Manitoba and CDC Saskatoon, Kumar`s program is working on alternatives and screening of genetic material for other sources of mosquito tolerance. Recently, a team of scientists discovered a promising gene in South Asian genetic material, although it is still too early to confirm its effectiveness. Anyone who has grown midge-tolerant wheat knows Sm1, the only gene responsible for half-time tolerance.
Mosquito-tolerant wheat growers rely on Sm1 to protect their performance and quality and follow specific fiduciary practices to maintain their effectiveness. .