Original Paper

Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 429-437

First online:

Mapping of Fhb2 on chromosome 6BS: a gene controlling Fusarium head blight field resistance in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

  • Patricia A. CuthbertAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Science, University of Manitoba
  • , Daryl J. SomersAffiliated withAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Cereal Research Centre Email author 
  • , Anita Brulé-BabelAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Science, University of Manitoba

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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most important fungal wheat diseases worldwide. Understanding the genetics of FHB resistance is key to facilitate the introgression of different FHB resistance genes into adapted wheat. The objective of this project was to study the FHB resistance QTL on chromosome 6B, quantify the phenotypic variation, and qualitatively map the resistance gene as a Mendelian factor. The FHB resistant parent BW278 (AC Domain*2/Sumai 3) was used as the source of the resistance allele. A large recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping population was developed from the cross BW278/AC Foremost. The population segregated for three known FHB resistance QTL located on chromosomes 3BSc, 5A, and 6B. Molecular markers on chromosome 6B (WMC104, WMC397, GWM219), 5A (GWM154, GWM304, WMC415), and 3BS (WMC78, GWM566, WMC527) were amplified on approximately 1,440 F2:7 RILs. The marker information was used to select 89 RILs that were fixed homozygous susceptible for the 3BSc and 5A FHB QTLs and were recombinant in the 6B interval. Disease response was evaluated on 89 RILs and parental checks in the greenhouse and field nurseries. Dual floret injection (DFI) was used in greenhouse trials to evaluate disease severity (DS). Macroconidial spray inoculations were used in field nurseries conducted at two locations in southern Manitoba (Carman and Glenlea) over two years 2003 and 2004, to evaluate disease incidence, disease severity, visual rating index, and Fusarium-damaged kernels. The phenotypic distribution for all five-disease infection measurements was bimodal, with lines resembling either the resistant or susceptible checks and parents. All of the four field traits for FHB resistance mapped qualitatively to a coincident position on chromosome 6BS, flanked by GWM133 and GWM644, and is named Fhb2. The greenhouse-DS trait mapped 2 cM distal to Fhb2. Qualitative mapping of Fhb2 in wheat provides tightly linked markers that can reduce linkage drag associated with marker assisted selection of Fhb2 and aid the pyramiding of different resistance loci for wheat improvement.


Fusarium graminearum Marker-assisted selection Microsatellite Fusarium head blight