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Phytopathology. 2004 Oct;94(10):1145-50. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.2004.94.10.1145.

Barley traits associated with resistance to fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol accumulation.


Fusarium head blight (FHB) or scab is a destructive disease of barley in many countries. A better understanding of the interrelationships between plant traits and FHB resistance should help in the development of effective and efficient breeding strategies for FHB-resistant cultivars. Recent mapping studies indicate that many of the quantitative trait loci (QTL) for FHB resistance coincide with the QTL for plant height, heading date, and spike characteristics. Therefore, a study was conducted to investigate the relationship of morphological and physiological traits to FHB infection and deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation in a barley doubled-haploid (DH) population derived from a L├ęger x CI9831 cross. Approximately 190 DH lines were grown at Ottawa (Ontario) for 2 years, Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) for 1 year, and Hangzhou (Zhejiang) for 2 years. The field plots were inoculated with Fusarium graminearum at each location. FHB incidence was positively correlated with DON content. Resistance to FHB was associated with two-row spike, purple lemma, long glume awn, tall stature, and resistance to lodging, but it was not associated with long rachilla hairs, rough lemma awn, or heading date. Two-row spike was associated with tall stature and resistance to lodging. These associations as well as its spike characteristics helped reduce FHB infection and DON accumulation in two-row lines compared with six-row lines. The association between long glume awn and FHB resistance could be due to genetic linkages. Therefore, trait associations should be taken into consideration when breeding for FHB resistance and interpreting data from FHB experiments.

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