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Genetic variation for resistance to Fusarium head blight in winter durum material

Miedaner, Thomas, Longin, Carl Friedrich Horst
Crop & pasture science 2014 v.65 no.1 pp. 46-51
Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium head blight, breeding, breeding lines, cultivars, durum wheat, genetic variation, genotype, heading, heritability, Germany
Durum is one of the most susceptible cereals to infection with Fusarium head blight (FHB) due to the lack of resistance sources. Data on the genetic variation and heritability of FHB in elite durum, and especially the new evolving winter durum, are lacking. Thus, we compared 105 elite, winter durum breeding lines with an international collection of 62 old and new winter durum cultivars. We evaluated the development of FHB after inoculation by Fusarium culmorum, heading time, and plant height at three field environments in Germany. Significant genetic variation for FHB was identified in the elite breeding material as well as in the collection. Mean FHB rating was normally distributed with a heritability of >0.7 for both sets, indicating the quantitative genetic nature of the trait. Taking heading time, plant height, and FHB resistance into account, the most interesting genotypes were identified in the elite breeding material. Consequences for the ongoing global efforts for improvement of FHB resistance of durum are discussed.