Research Project

Development of spring wheat (SWS and GP) with higher yield potential for Alberta's bio-economy

AWC contribution: $100,000

Start date: April 1st, 2015                                                      
End date: March 31, 2019


Increasing cereal competitiveness is an important priority to the grains and livestock sector of Alberta. New high yielding wheat lines can be developed specifically for various growing regions (north, central, and south) of Alberta if selection in the early generations is performed in Alberta for plant type, adaptation, and rust resistance. Wheat lines with early maturity with good yield potential and better disease resistance package can then be evaluated in various performance trials for further testing. This research will focus on SWS and GP classes as these classes have higher genetic potential for the improvement in grain yield and disease resistance.


  1. To develop new varieties of Soft white spring wheat with 5% high grain yield than AC Andrew with better agronomic performance and disease resistance.
  2. To develop new varieties of General Purpose wheat with 5% high grain yield and 2% higher starch yield potential than AC Andrew with better agronomic performance and disease resistance in Alberta for the livestock feed industries.
  3. Introgression of new sources of disease resistance into elite wheat lines

Benefit to producers:

Wheat production in Alberta is affected by a variety of diseases, which causes significant economic losses every year. New improved high yielding wheat lines with new genetic and resistance to these diseases will provide the producer with the most efficient and economical type of control. Research findings will increase the competiveness of producers in Alberta by reducing losses due to wheat diseases.


Dr Harpinder Singh Randhawa manages a spring wheat and triticale breeding program at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. He has more than 15 years of experience working on the different aspects of wheat breeding, genetics, pathology, molecular genetics and genomics. His prime focus of research is to develop spring wheat cultivars (Canada Western Soft White Spring (CWSWS), Canada Prairie Spring (CPS) and Special Purpose (SP) Wheat Classes) that have better agronomic performance, excellent end use quality and resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses in western Canada. He has developed eight high yielding spring wheat cultivars and co-developed three high yielding triticale cultivars for general production in western Canada.

Project Completion Report

This project was to support spring wheat breeding program at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre and provide salaries for supporting staff involved in cultivar development. This project supported breeding activities to develop new varieties which would provide competitive advantage to the producers. The overall objective was to develop spring wheat with 5% high grain yield than AC Andrew with better agronomic performance and disease resistance.

During this project, we have registered two improved cultivars: AAC Paramount, as soft white spring wheat which was 6% higher than AC Andrew; AAC Awesome, a special purpose wheat with 14% higher yield than AC Andrew. These two new cultivars could become lead cultivars in their respective class due to their excellent agronomic performance. Beside these two, other parental lines with improved agronomic and disease resistance were developed which are being used to incorporate disease resistance into new elite lines. Various scientific research articles were also published during this project.