Margaret Worthington

Former Graduate

  • Degree Program: Ph.D. Crop Science
  • Previous Degrees: B.S., Environmental Science, Duke University; M.S., International Agricultural Development and Horticulture and Agronomy, UC Davis
  • Advisor: Dr. Paul Murphy
  • Completion Date: December 2013


1) Develop breeding methods to increase the competitive ability of wheat against Italian ryegrass infestation and, 2) determine the genetics of resistance and molecular markers associated with novel powdery mildew and leaf rust resistance introgressed from wild relatives of wheat. Italian ryegrass is the most important limiting production factor for North Carolina organic wheat producers, and the evolution of herbicide resistance in Italian ryegrass populations poses a growing threat to conventional growers. Objectives are: (a) conduct an allelopathy bioassay on a large number of adapted and exotic winter wheat accessions and use association mapping to identify QTLs associated with allelopathic activity, (b) develop a simple and effective field method of measuring wheat suppression of, or tolerance to, ryegrass competition that is feasible in a large wheat breeding program, (c) identify promising parent material based on the allelopathic activity of the cultivar and/or morphological traits associated with superior competitive ability, and d) map the powdery mildew and leaf rust resistance genes introgressed from Triticum neglect. in the germplasm line NC09BGTUM15.

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