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Identification of QTLs associated with Fusarium head blight resistance in Zhedar 2 barley


Fusarium head blight (FHB) in barley and wheat, caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a continual problem worldwide. Primarily, FHB reduces yield and quality, and results in the production of the toxin deoxynivalenol (DON), which can affect food safety. Identification of QTLs for FHB severity, DON level and related traits heading-date (HD) and plant-height (HT) with consistent effects across a set of environments, would provide the basis for marker-assisted selection (MAS) and potentially increase the efficiency of selection for resistance. A segregating population of 75 double-haploid lines, developed from the three-way cross Zhedar 2/ND9712//Foster, was used for genome mapping and FHB severity evaluation. A linkage map of 214 RFLP, SSR and AFLP markers was constructed. Phenotypic data were collected in replicated field trials from five environments in two growing seasons. The data were analyzed using MQTL software to detect quantitative trait locus (QTL) × environment (E) interactions. Because of the presence of QTL × E, the MQM procedure in MAPQTL was applied to identify QTLs in single environments. We identified nine QTLs for FHB severity and five for low DON. Many of the disease-related QTLs identified were coincident with FHB QTLs identified in previous studies. Only two of the QTLs identified in this study were consistent across all five environments, and both were Zhedar 2 specific. Five of the FHB QTLs were associated with HD, and two were associated with HT. Regions that appear to be promising candidates for MAS and further genetic analysis include the two FHB QTLs on chromosome 2H and one on 6H, which were also associated with low DON and later heading-date in multiple environments. This study provides a starting point for manipulating Zhedar 2-derived resistance by MAS in barley to develop cultivars that will show effective resistance under disease pressure.

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The authors thank Mr. William Morgan for AFLP analysis and initial map construction, and Ms. Shauna Pederson for SSR analysis. Funding for this research was provided in part by grants from the North Dakota Barley Council, the American Malting Barley Association, and the North America Barley Genome Mapping Project.

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Correspondence to L. S. Dahleen.

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Communicated by H.F. Linskens

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Dahleen, L.S., Agrama, H.A., Horsley, R.D. et al. Identification of QTLs associated with Fusarium head blight resistance in Zhedar 2 barley. Theor Appl Genet 108, 95–104 (2003).

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  • Hordeum vulgare
  • Disease resistance
  • Gene mapping
  • Molecular markers