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Evaluation of Canadian barley breeding lines for Fusarium head blight resistance

He, Xinyao, Osman, Mohamed, Helm, James, Capettini, Flavio, Singh, Pawan K.
Canadian journal of plant science 2015 v.95 no.5 pp. 923-929
Fusarium head blight, barley, breeding lines, brewing, correlation, crop production, crossing, cultivars, deoxynivalenol, field experimentation, heading, industry, malting, new variety, screening, seeds, Alberta, Mexico
He, X., Osman, M., Helm, J., Capettini, F. and Singh, P. K. 2015. Evaluation of Canadian barley breeding lines for Fusarium head blight resistance. Can. J. Plant Sci. 95: 923–929. Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a major challenge to the successful production of barley in Canada, as well as for end-users such as the malting and brewing industries. Due to the quantitative inheritance of FHB resistance, continuous effort is required to identify breeding lines with improved FHB resistance and incorporate them into crossing schemes to enhance FHB resistance. In the present study, 402 advanced breeding lines from Alberta, Canada, were evaluated in the FHB screening nursery at CIMMYT, Mexico. In 2011 and 2012, FHB incidence was measured on a scale of 1 to 4 to eliminate the most susceptible lines. In 2013 and 2014, 181 lines with the lowest disease scores in the previous 2 yr were tested in replicated experiments for field FHB index, Fusarium-damaged kernels, and deoxynivalenol content. Agronomic and morphological traits, specifically days to heading, plant height, and row and hull types were also evaluated in relations to FHB parameters. Correlation coefficients among the three FHB parameters in both 2013 and 2014 were all significant at P<0.0001, ranging from 0.36 to 0.63. Additional correlation analysis showed that late-maturing, tall, and two-row lines tended to have lower disease, whereas hull type did not show a significant correlation with FHB. Several lines with high and stable FHB resistance similar to that of the resistant checks were identified. These could be used in breeding programs as resistance sources or be registered as new cultivars if their overall attributes meet commercial standards.