2013 NSA Funded Research
The National Sunflower Association selected and funded the following research projects for the 2013 year. Funding was also in part possible due to the North Dakota Oilseeds Council, South Dakota Oilseeds Council, Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee, Kansas Sunflower Commission, Minnesota Sunflower Council and the North Dakota State Board of Agriculture.
2013 NSA-Funded Research Projects
Development of Management Strategies to Control Sunflower Rust Using Genetic Resistance and Fungicides

Investigator: Sam Markell, NDSU; Tom Gulya, USDA ARS NCSL

  1. Fungicide evaluation and timing in early onset epidemics.
  2. Assessment of pathogen diversity
  3. Identification of sunflower resistance sources (and genes) in the sunflower germplasm core collection.  
  4.  Educate a Ph.D. level sunflower-pathologist

Funded Amount: $4,300

Characterization of Phomopsis species in the US: Species prevalence, pathogenicity and aggressiveness

Investigator: Sam Markell, NDSU

Description: This research project has one short term (this year) and five additional long term objectives.
  1. Characterization of the species and their prevalence causing phomopsis on sunflowers in North America, focusing primarily on North Dakota, South Dakota and Northwest Minnesota,
  2. Develop and test a method for screening sunflower germplasm for phomopsis in the greenhouse.
  3. Determine the aggressiveness of these species on phomopsis in greenhouse,
  4. Compare the U.S. Phomopsis specie(s) in the United States to those in other important sunflower growing areas in the world (winter nursery and production areas),
  5. educate a Ph.D. level sunflower pathologist and
  6. (new this year) develop a screening technique for field evaluation of phomopsis.
Funded Amount: $37,650
Molecular mapping of resistance genes effective against newly emerged, virulent races of downy mildew in sunflower

Investigator: Lili Qi, USDA ARS NCSL

  1. Phenotype F2:3 population of the cross HA 89 × RHA 464 with race 734
  2. Investigate inheritance of DM resistance genes in RHA 428, HA 458, and 803-1, and a putative new gene from H. argophyllus accession PI 494573
  3. Identify SSR markers linked to DM resistance genes in RHA 428, HA 458, and 803-1, and to a putative new gene from H. argophyllus accession PI 494573
  4. Use SNP markers to saturate the regions where the new DM resistance genes reside
Funded Amount: $19,672
Evaluation of current and experimental fungicides for management of downy mildew, and evaluation of elite germplasm for resistance to Plasmopara halstedii (Downy Mildew) and Puccinia helianthi (Rust)

Investigator: Sam Markell, NDSU

  1. Identify resistance lines to downy mildew by screening approximately 180 USDA accessions of wild Helianthus annuus and H. argophyllus originating from Texas to a composite of the new races of Plasmopara halstedii (downy mildew) virulent on Pl6 and Pl7. 
  2. Identify lines resistant to P. helianthi (rust) using the same genetic material as above
  3. Evaluate current and experimental fungicides to the P. halstedii (downy mildew). 
  4. Educate another North Dakota student in sunflower pathology.
Funded Amount: $4,000
Evaluation of Sunflower for Resistance to Seed- and Stem-Infesting Insect Pests in the Great Plains

Investigators: Jarrad Prasifka, Brent Hulke and Gerald Seiler USDA ARS; Kathy Grady SDSU; Rob Aiken KSU Colby; and Calvin Trostle, TX A&M

  1. Evaluate quality of USDA single-cross hybrids based on red sunflower seed weevil resistance in PI 431542 in yield trials in South Dakota to determine whether a release of germplasm or genetic stock is justified.
  2. Use a high replication field trial in North Dakota to characterize resistance to banded sunflower moth found in PI 494859, PI 372259, and USDA inbred lines.
  3.  Assess physical traits in populations segregating for high pericarp strength (as a resistance trait for sunflower moth) in the greenhouse. Use results to select entries suitable for subsequent field trials in Texas and Kansas.
Funded Amount: $23,156
Evaluation of Pericarp Hardness Traits for Resistance to Seed-Feeding by the Sunflower Moth

Investigators: Jarrad Prasifka, USDA ARS; Deirdre Prischmann-Voldseth, NDSU

  1. Determine whether known differences in pericarp strength are associated with differences in thickness of the phytomelanin layer or thickness of the pericarp. (If greater total pericarp thickness is detected in lines with stronger pericarps, test whether the increased thickness also has an effect on oil content or other qualities (e.g., shelling ability).
  2. Examine the responses of late-instar sunflower moth larvae to increasing pericarp hardness for lines with and without phytomelanin.
  3. Estimate the benefit of hard pericarps and phytomelanin using field infestations of sunflower moth larvae and damage ratings of mature seed.
Funded Amount: $26,240
Glyphosate-resistant Broadleaf Weed Management in Sunflower

Investigator: Phil Stahlman, KSU

Description: This project complements previous pyroxasulfone development research by determining its effectiveness in controlling glyphosate-resistant (GR) kochia and whether pyroxasulfone can be used effectively at expected labeled rates at much earlier times of application. The research will evaluate the residual weed control efficacy of pyroxasulfone alone and in combination with other soil-active herbicides applied in early spring prior to weed emergence.
Funded Amount: $12,040
Nitrogen Management for Irrigated Sunflowers

Investigator: Joel Schneekloth, CSU

  1. Further refine fertigation recommendations as a comparison to pre-plant applications.
  2. Better understanding of nitrogen uptake of sunflowers with and without pre-plant applications of nitrogen.
Funded Amount: $7,500
Boosting Sunflower Production with Supplemental Irrigation

Investigator: Abdel F. Berrada, CSU

  1. Determine the response of two sunflower hybrids to four irrigation treatments.
  2. Determine the response to N rate and to N by Irrigation interaction.
  3. In addition, we will introduce a "plant population" treatment to increase the likelihood of reaching or exceeding the yield targets, particularly with the full irrigation regime and the higher N rates.

Funded Amount: $8,481
Evaluation of Sunflower in Dryland Crop Rotations

Investigator: Abdel F. Berrada, CSU

  1. Determine the effects of sunflower in rotation with other crops on: crop yield and quality (seed oil or protein concentration), soil moisture availability, nutrient (N & P) availability, and pest dynamics.
  2. Analyze the results of the oilseed crops survey that was mailed to growers in the fall of 2012.
  3. Assess the agronomic and economic feasibility of various cropping systems after sufficient data e.g., from the field trial and from growers' surveys has been gathered.
Funded Amount: $$9,572
Evaluation of 9,10 anthraquione bird repellent for managing blackbird damage to ripening sunflower

Investigator: George M. Linz USDA/WS

  1. To field test efficacy of 1.5 gal/acre AQ on R5.1 - 5.3 for reducing sunflower damage by free-ranging blackbirds.
  2. To test efficacy of 1.5 gal/acre AQ on birds enclosed in large netted cages.
  3. Determine residues of AQ on achenes and bracts prior to harvest.
Funded Amount: $5,000
Gauging Oilseed & Confectionary Sunflower N Response in the Texas High Plains

Investigator: Calvin Trostle, Texas A&M

  1. Identify two research test sites in the area of Dumas and Lubbock, TX with soil profile N levels < 25 lbs. N per acre at 0-4' (first choices are Texas A&M AgriLife Research facilities at Etter and Lubbock, TX, which were used in 2012)
  2. Assess responses of yield, sunflower seed oil content, and confectionary seed sizing to N fertilizer rates under irrigated production
  3. Evaluate the effect of splitting the timing of N fertilizer application of at-plant vs. ~V-8.

Funded Amount: $5,600
Identifying and mapping modifiers of high oleic and high oleic, low sat fatty acid composition

Investigator: Brent Hulke, USDA ARS

  1. Develop a comprehensive list of candidate genes that correspond to desaturases and other fatty acid genes in sunflower, conduct RNAseq of developing seed tissues from a few lines of interest using next-generation sequencers, and find SNPs and InDels with a high likelihood of directly affecting fatty acid content by concentrating on candidate genes expressed in seed with polymorphism between lines.
  2. Develop primers for these SNPs or whole genes that will allow for inexpensive genotyping of 196 released oilseed inbred lines of the USDA sunflower breeding program with known fatty acid composition, as well as one F2 mapping population segregating for the HOLS phenotype in a pure HO genetic background.
Funded Amount: $38,700
Field Evaluation of a Combine Fire Prevention Device

Investigator: Daniel Humburg, SDSU

  1. Develop prototype solutions for different types of combine models (Deere & Case IH)
  2. Pilot scale implementation consisting of 4-6 installed prototypes with comparison to similar combines without modifications in field harvest tests.
  3. Enhanced system instrumentation to help farmers monitor the combine and collect/record additional data such as engine load, and operating temperatures.
  4. Document the efficacy of the prototype system through producer experience, field data, comparative machines, and laboratory tests.
Funded Amount: $36,800
2013 Crop Survey

Investigator: Hans Kandel, NDSU

Description: Conduct annual survey of the sunflower crop to determine production issues that may need research/education attention

Funded Amount: $8,000
Eliminating sunflower rust in confection sunflower through aggressive breeding and isolate identification

Investigators: Lili Qi, USDA ARS; Sam Markell, NDSU

Description: Specialty Crop Block Grant Funded through USDA passing through the NSA. This is the fourth and final year for this project.

Funded Amount: $76,100
Doubled Haploid Production in Sunflower

Investigator: Chao-Chein Jan, USDA ARS NCSL; Richard Horsley, NDSU

Description: To develop an efficient protocol for doubled haploid production in sunflower that can be adopted by seed companies with modest laboratory facilities and personnel with some training in tissue culture techniques. This project is funded through the seed companies.

Funded Amount: $52,000
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