Segregation for aggressiveness and deoxynivalenol production of a population of Gibberella zeae causing head blight of wheat
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- Cumagun, C.J.R. & Miedaner, T. European Journal of Plant Pathology (2004) 110: 789. doi:10.1007/s10658-004-0895-z
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Gibberella zeae is a pathogen of wheat and other small-grain cereals, causing yield losses and reducing grain quality by producing the trichothecene deoxynivalenol (DON) which is harmful to animals and humans. One hundred and fifty three progeny from a cross between two European DON-producing isolates of G. zeaewere analyzed for aggressiveness and DON production in three environments (location–year combinations) in Germany. Aggressiveness, measured as head blight rating and relative plot yield, and DON production showed continuous distribution for each environment and across environments. There was significant (P=0.01) genotypic variation for all three traits. Transgressive segregants occurred for all three traits. Both repeatability estimates within an environment and heritability estimates on an entry-mean basis for head blight rating and DON production were medium to high (0.5–0.7). Progeny–environment interaction accounted for about 29% of the total variance for the two aggressiveness traits and 19% for DON production. The large genetic variation derived from a cross between two rather similar European parents indicates a potential for increasing fungal aggressiveness in theG. zeae population.