Molecular characterization of field resistance to Fusarium head blight in two US soft red winter wheat cultivars.
In the soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) regions of the US, Fusarium head blight (FHB, caused by Fusarium spp.) resistance derived from locally adapted germplasm has been used predominantly. Two soft red winter wheat cultivars, Massey and Ernie, have moderate resistance to FHB. Mapping populations derived from Becker/Massey (B/M) and Ernie/MO 94-317 (E/MO) were evaluated for FHB resistance and other traits in multiple environments. Eight QTL in B/M and five QTL in E/MO were associated with FHB variables including incidence, severity (SEV), index (IND), Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK), deoxynivalenol (DON), and morphological traits flowering time and plant height. Four QTL were common to both populations. Three of them were located at or near known genes: Ppd-D1 on chromosome 2DS, Rht-B1 on 4BS, and Rht-D1 on 4DS. Alleles for dwarf plant height (Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b) and photoperiod insensitivity (Ppd-D1a) had pleiotropic effects in reducing height and increasing FHB susceptibility. The other QTL detected for FHB variables were on 3BL in both populations, 1AS, 1DS, 2BL, and 4DL in B/M, and 5AL (B1) and 6AL in E/MO. The additive effects of FHB variables ranged from 0.4 mg kg(-1) of DON to 6.2 % for greenhouse (GH) SEV in B/M and ranged from 0.3 mg kg(-1) of DON to 8.3 % for GH SEV in E/MO. The 4DS QTL had epistasis with Ppd-D1, Qdon.umc-6AL, and Qht.umc-4BS, and additive × additive × environment interactions with the 4BS QTL for SEV, IND, and FDK in E/MO. Marker-assisted selection might be used to enhance FHB resistance through selection of favorable alleles of significant QTL, taking into account genotypes at Rht-B1b, Rht-D1a and Ppd-D1a.