Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 110, Issue 7, pp 1218–1225 | Cite as

DNA markers associated with low Fusarium head blight incidence and narrow flower opening in wheat

  • J. Gilsinger
  • L. Kong
  • X. Shen
  • H. OhmEmail author
Original Paper


Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat, caused by Fusarium graminearum, is an important fungal disease in many wheat-growing areas of the world. The objectives of this study were to determine the relationship between width and duration of flower opening and incidence of FHB in wheat, and to identify DNA markers associated with narrow flower opening and low FHB incidence. It was hypothesized that wheat lines whose flowers open briefly and narrowly have a reduced risk of infection. To test the hypothesis, we crossed wheat cultivars Patterson and Goldfield to generate a population of 100 random F2-derived recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Florets of Patterson open wide; florets of Goldfield tend to stay closed. The population of RILs was characterized for FHB incidence and flower opening width (FOW) and duration in the F7:9 and F7:10 generations. Of the 305 simple sequence repeat primer pairs screened on the parents, 79 amplified polymorphic DNA bands. Pooled DNA from each of the two bulks was tested with these 79 SSR primer pairs. Four markers were found to have significant marker-trait association with low FHB incidence and narrow flower opening. The major QTL effect associated with narrow flower opening and low FHB incidence was found between the map interval Xbarc200Xgwm210, explaining 29% of the phenotypic variation for FHB incidence averaged over six replicated tests in Indiana in 2002 and 2003. This adds credence to the hypothesis that narrow flower opening is responsible for low FHB incidence in this population. Breeding wheat lines for both morphological avoidance, such as narrow flower opening, and physiological resistance to FHB may be valuable in future breeding research to reduce crop production and grain quality losses in wheat due to FHB.


Recombinant Inbred Line Fusarium Head Blight Flower Opening Fusarium Head Blight Resistance Fusarium Head Blight Severity 
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The authors acknowledge the financial support from USDA-ARS, USWBSI competitive grant no. 59-0790-9-057, and Purdue University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgronomyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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