Rungravee Boontung, Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, P. Stephen Baenziger, 362D Plant Science Building, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE and Liuling Yan, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a long day plant that requires vernalization to induce flowering. The growth cycle of winter wheat takes at least 4 to 5 months, therefore, for breeding winter wheat, we have at most two generations per year. To reduce generation time and accelerate the breeding scheme especially for backcrossing for winter wheat, the Overland, Goodstreak and NW07505 were crossed with Apogee or Perigee (rapid cycling hard red spring wheats) that were developed by Utah State University for growing in space. The aim of this research is to introgression early flowering genes such as Vrn-1 and Ppd-1 into winter wheat background. The F1 of Nebraska winter wheat crossed with Apogee or Perigee will be crossed back to Nebraska winter wheat parent for 4 or 5 generations to create rapid cycling genotypes with primarily Nebraska background genes. These lines will not require vernalization to induced flowering, so the generation time will be 3 months or less and we can grow 4 generations per year which will greatly shorten the breeding cycle. These rapid cycling lines will be used to backcross in traits of interest such as transgenes, disease or pest resistance, high yield, or end-use quality. To recover the winter growth habit, the last cross will be to the winter wheat recurrent parent used to create the rapid cycling lines. The F1 will be grown in a greenhouse or in a winter increase nursery to produce F2 seed. The F2 seed will be planted in Nebraska and only the winter growth habit segregants will survive and be harvested, thus creating adapted backcross derived lines quickly and efficiently.