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Fusarium head blight (FHB), mainly caused by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe [telomorph: Gibberella zeae Schw. (Petch)], is an increasingly important disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Host-plant resistance provides the best hope for reducing economic losses associated with FHB, but new sources of resistance are limited. The moderately resistant winter wheat cultivar, Ernie, may provide a source of resistance that differs from Sumai 3 but these genes have not been mapped. Also hindering resistance breeding may be associations of resistance with agronomic traits such as late maturity that may be undesirable in some production environments. This research was conducted to identify QTL associated with type II FHB resistance (FHB severity, FHBS), and to determine if they are associated with days to anthesis (DTA), number of spikelets (NOS), and the presence/absence of awns. Two hundred and forty-three F(8) recombinant inbred lines from a cross between the resistant cultivar, Ernie and susceptible parent, MO 94-317 were phenotyped for type II FHB resistance using point inoculation in the greenhouse during 2002 and 2003. Genetic linkage maps were constructed using 94 simple sequence repeat (SSR) and 146 amplified fragment length polymorphic (AFLP) markers. Over years four QTL regions on chromosomes 2B, 3B, 4BL and 5A were consistently associated with FHB resistance. These QTL explained 43.3% of the phenotypic variation in FHBS. Major QTL conditioning DTA and NOS were identified on chromosome 2D. Neither the QTL associated with DTA and NOS nor the presence/absence of awns were associated with FHB resistance in Ernie. Our results suggest that the FHB resistance in Ernie appears to differ from that in Sumai 3, thus pyramiding the QTL in Ernie with those from Sumai 3 could result in enhanced levels of FHB resistance in wheat.
PMID: 17569028 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]