Denomination: 'Snowbird'
Previously Proposed Denomination: 'BW264'
Botanical Name: Triticum aestivum
Applicant/Holder: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Winnipeg
Cereal Research Centre
195 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2M9
Breeder: Fred Townley-Smith, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Agent in Canada: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization
6000 C&E Trail
Lacombe, Alberta
T4L 1W1
Tel: (403) 782-8126
Application Date: 2000-04-20
Application Number: 00-2207
Grant of Rights Date: 2004-02-04
Certificate Number: 1725
Grant of Rights Termination Date: 2022-02-04

Variety Description

Varieties used for comparison: 'AC Domain', 'AC Barrie' and 'Kanata'

Summary: 'Snowbird' has a low frequency of plants with recurved flag leaves while 'AC Barrie' has a high number. 'Snowbird' has a taller plant height than the reference varieties. 'Snowbird' matures later than 'Kanata'. 'Snowbird' has a hard white kernel type while 'AC Domain' and 'AC Barrie' have hard red kernels.


'Snowbird' is a hard white spring wheat. The sheaths and blades of the lower leaves have very sparse pubescence. The plants have an erect to semi-erect growth habit and the frequency of plants with recurved flag leaves is low. The flag leaf has very sparse pubescence on the blade and sheath. The flag leaf auricles have no anthocyanin and the flag leaf sheath has weak to medium glaucosity.

After heading, the culm has weak glaucosity on the neck and at maturity the neck is slightly curved. The straw has no anthocyanin colouration at maturity and has a thin pith. 'Snowbird' has a tapering to parallel sided spike shape that is erect in attitude and medium in density. The spike has weak glaucosity and is white in colour at maturity. The spike has awnlets present which are very short to short in length and very slightly spreading in attitude. The awnlets are white in colour. The rachis has sparse pubescence on the convex surface of the apical segment. The lower glume is medium in width and medium to long in length. The lower glume has very sparse pubescence. The shoulder of the lower glume is slightly sloping in shape and narrow to medium in width. The beak on the lower glume is slightly curved in shape and short in length. The lower glume has sparse pubescence on the inner side. The lemma has a slightly curved beak.

'Snowbird' has a hard white kernel that is medium in size. The kernel is medium in length and width. The oval shaped kernel has a rounded cheek shape and midlong brush hairs. The embryo is oval in shape and the germ is medium in size. The kernel crease is medium in width and depth.

'Snowbird' is susceptible to Septoria tritici blotch (Septoria tritici), moderately susceptible to susceptible to Tan spot (Pyrenophora tritici-repentis), moderately susceptible to Septoria nodorum blotch (Septoria nodorum), moderately resistant to moderately susceptible to Fusarium head blight (Fusarium graminerarum, Fusarium species) and Stem rust (Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici), moderately resistant to Common bunt (Tilletia caries, Tilletia foetida), resistant to moderately resistant to Loose smut (Ustilago tritici) and resistant to Leaf rust (Puccinia triticina).

Origin & Breeding History: 'Snowbird' was selected from the cross of a white seeded isogenic line of RL4237 to 'AC Domain'. The white seeded isogenic line derives from the cross RL4137*6//Thatcher/Poso48, where Poso48 is the source of white seed colour. The final cross was made in 1994 at the Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Research Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Doubled haploid lines were produced using the maize pollination procedure from F1 plants. Double haploid lines were grown in a disease/dormancy nursery in 1996, and 30 lines were entered into the Hard White B test in 1997. One of these lines was designated RL4871 and entered into the Central Bread Wheat Cooperative test in 1998 as BW264. Lines were selected for pre-harvest sprouting resistance, leaf and stem rust resistance, good agronomic performance and quality suitable for the Canada Western Spring wheat grades.

Tests & Trials: Trials for 'Snowbird' were conducted at Glenlea, Manitoba. The trials were grown in a random complete block design with 4 replications. The plots were 4.3 metres long with 5 rows spaced 15cm apart.

Comparison tables for 'Snowbird' with reference varieties 'AC Domain', 'AC Barrie' and 'Kanata'

Plant height (cm)

  'Snowbird' 'AC Domain' 'AC Barrie' 'Kanata'
mean 94 91 90 87
std. deviation 3.4 2.0 3.4 3.3
number measured 20 20 20 20

Spike length (cm)

  'Snowbird' 'AC Domain' 'AC Barrie' 'Kanata'
mean 7.2 6.7 7.5 6.8
std. deviation 0.43 0.47 0.53 0.33
number measured 10 10 10 10
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