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RGT Wolverine – a breakthrough in BYDV control

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RAGT breeds, produces, and sells seeds globally. The company has one of the largest species portfolios in the seeds industry: maize, sorghum, cereals, oilseeds, protein crops, forages, cover crops and amenity.

The introduction of an elite commercial winter wheat variety with a high level of resistance to barley yellow dwarf virus is set to revolutionise the management of this yield-robbing disease on UK farms.

RGT Wolverine marks a major breakthrough in European wheat variety development, offering farmers an alternative to chemical control of BYDV for the first time.

The Variety is the latest offering from RAGT Seeds’ cutting-edge wheat breeding programme, which aims to deliver genetic solutions to help growers tackle a range of pest, disease and agronomic problems while providing consistent improvements in yield and quality.

RGT Wolverine, a Group 4 Recommended List candidate variety, delivers exceptional yields even in the absence of BYDV, competing with the likes of RGT Gravity and Skyscraper.

This means growers will not be penalised for choosing it in low-BYDV years.

Its performance is backed by a solid agronomic package and a strong disease resistance profile.

The arrival of RGT Wolverine is particularly timely following the withdrawal in 2018 of neonicotinoid seed treatments for wheat.

The variety offers season-long protection against BYDV, reducing the need to monitor aphid populations and benefiting the environment.

The cost is similar to a typical three-spray insecticide programme that only offers six to eight weeks of low to average control.

RGT Wolverine contains the Bdv2 resistant gene that originates from a goat grass, Thinopyrum intermedium, a distant wheat relative.

The effectiveness of this trait has been clearly demonstrated in a range of laboratory and field experiments carried out by RAGT, while commercial experience in Australia over the past 17 years suggests this resistance is durable.

Limited quantities of RGT Wolverine will be available to grow commercially in autumn 2020, with a full launch in 2021, marking a step change in the way wheat growers manage BYDV in their crops.

RGT Wolverine – key characteristics

  • Europe’s first BYDV-resistant wheat
  • Very high yielding, even when BYDV is absent
  • Consistent performer in all regions
  • Strong disease resistance scores – yellow rust 7, brown rust 8, Septoria tritici 6
  • Excellent straw strength
  • Good grain quality

Find out more about RAGT’s work on BYDV and other key diseases in this short video.