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Molecular mapping of QTLs for Fusarium head blight resistance in spring wheat. I. Resistance to fungal spread (Type II resistance)

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Fusarium head blight (FHB, scab) is a fungal disease of wheat and other small cereals that is found in both temperate and semi-tropical regions. FHB causes severe yield and quality losses, but the most-serious concern is the possible mycotoxin contamination of cereal food and feed. Breeding for FHB resistance by conventional selection is feasible, but tedious and expensive. This study was conducted to identify and map DNA markers associated with FHB resistance genes in wheat. A population of 364 F1-derived doubled-haploid (DH) lines from the cross ’CM-82036’ (resistant)/’Remus’ (susceptible) was evaluated for Type II resistance (spread within the spike) during 2 years under field conditions. Marker analysis was performed on 239 randomly chosen DH lines. Different marker types were applied, with an emphasis on AFLP and SSR markers. Analysis of variance, as well as simple and composite interval mapping, were applied. Three genomic regions were found significantly associated with FHB resistance. The most-prominent effect was detected on the short arm of chromosome 3B, explaining up to 60% of the phenotypic variance for Type II FHB resistance. A further QTL was located on chromosome 5A and a third one on 1B. The QTL regions on 3B and 5A were tagged with flanking SSR markers, the 1B QTL was found associated with the high-molecular-weight glutenin locus. These results indicate that FHB resistance is under control of a few major QTLs operating together with unknown numbers of minor genes. Marker-assisted selection for these major QTLs involved in FHB resistance appears feasible and should accelerate the development of resistant and agronomically improved wheat cultivars.

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Received: 25 January 2001 / Accepted: 18 February 2001

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Buerstmayr, H., Lemmens, M., Hartl, L. et al. Molecular mapping of QTLs for Fusarium head blight resistance in spring wheat. I. Resistance to fungal spread (Type II resistance). Theor Appl Genet 104, 84–91 (2002).

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