DSV Theodore winter wheat has confirmed its position as the UK’s 'cleanest' wheat as the only variety to achieve a one-year septoria tritici resistance score of 9, in the latest AHDB 2022/23 RL disease ratings.

In a year with high levels of the disease and growing concerns over the breaking of varietal resistance, Theodore also bucked the trend of falling three-year septoria resistance scores when its rating rose from 8.3 for 2018-2020 to 8.5 for 2019-2021.

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“DSV Theodore is undeniably the variety with the best septoria resistance score in the UK,” said its DSV's UK wheat breeder, Dr Matt Kerton. “In fact, the gap between its score and the next best winter wheat for resistance to the disease widened even further over the year.

“Septoria ratings declined for most varieties, with the largest of these evident in varieties with Cougar in their parentages – which, thankfully, Theodore does not.”

Added to the RL for the West last year, Group 4 Theodore is a high yielding hard feed winter wheat with outstanding disease resistance across the board, he points out. “As well as the highest septoria resistance, Theodore has the top score for yellow rust at 9 and a strong brown rust score of 7," added Dr Kerton.

“Standing at 83cm, it also has good resistance to lodging in both treated and untreated plots, with no lodging seen in breeders’ plots throughout its time in trialling.”

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DSV is the only company breeding wheat in the West of the UK and this gives the varieties now emerging from its domestic breeding programme wide disease resistance and resilience, Dr Kerton added.

Another of those varieties, DSV Champion, also did well in this year’s trials, with a one year septoria resistance score of 8 and a three-year score for 2019-21 sitting at 7.7, putting it in the top four for resistance to the disease in the revised ratings.

In the 2021/22 AHDB candidate list, the variety also has an 8 for yellow rust plus it has orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) resistance.