Identification of QTLs for resistance to Fusarium head blight, DON accumulation and associated traits in the winter wheat variety Arina
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Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat has become a serious threat to wheat crops in numerous countries. In addition to loss of yield and quality, this disease is of primary importance because of the contamination of grain with mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). The Swiss winter cultivar Arina possesses significant resistance to FHB. The objective of this study was to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for resistance to FHB, DON accumulation and associated traits in grain in a double haploid (DH) population from a cross between Arina and the FHB susceptible UK variety Riband. FHB resistance was assessed in five trials across different years and locations. Ten QTL for resistance to FHB or associated traits were detected across the trials, with QTL derived from both parents. Very few of the QTL detected in this study were coincident with those reported by authors of two other studies of FHB resistance in Arina. It is concluded that the FHB resistance of Arina, like that of the other European winter wheat varieties studied to date, is conferred by several genes of moderate effect making it difficult to exploit in marker-assisted selection breeding programmes. The most significant and stable QTL for FHB resistance was on chromosome 4D and co-localised with the Rht–D1 locus for height. This association appears to be due to linkage of deleterious genes to the Rht-D1b (Rht2) semi-dwarfing allele rather than differences in height per se. This association may compromise efforts to enhance FHB resistance in breeding programmes using germplasm containing this allele.
KeywordsFusarium culmorum Triticum aestivum Deoxynivalenol QTL mapping
This work was funded by a BBSRC PhD studentship to RCD and by the EU-funded FUCOMYR project, under the 5th Framework Programme, “Novel tools for developing Fusarium-resistant and toxin-free wheat for Europe” (QLRT-2001-02044). We wish also to thank all those who helped with field and polytunnel related work.
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