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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Heritability estimates and response to selection for Fusarium head blight resistance in segregating populations of soft red winter wheat

Authors
item Verges, Virginia - UNIV OF LLIEDA, SPAIN
item Van Sanford, David - UNIV OF KENTUCKY
item Brown-Guedira, Gina

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2006
Publication Date: February 18, 2007
Citation: Verges, V.L., Van Sanford, D., Brown Guedira, G.L. Heritability estimates and response to selection for Fusarium head blight resistance in segregating populations of soft red winter wheat. Crop Science. 46:1587-1594. 2006.

Interpretive Summary: Head scab of wheat has resulted major losses in yield and quality of wheat and barley for farmers around the world. Since 1991, scab outbreaks have been common and widespread across much of the eastern half of the United States. After a series of epidemics in the 1990s, a huge resistance-breeding effort was undertaken in numerous wheat producing states. Many breeders have transferred resistance to spread of the disease in the spike from Chinese spring wheat cultivars, but soft red winter wheat breeders are also interested in determining how much resistance is available in locally adapted breeding lines and varieties. Three soft red winter wheat populations were grown under artificial inoculation and mist irrigation to induce disease in 2003 and 2004 at Lexington and Princeton, KY. Disease symptoms were recorded along with concentration of the deoxynivalenol (DON) toxin produced by the fungus in a sample of grain of each line. The relative importance of genetics and the environment in conferring disease resistance was estimated. Heritability of disease severity was approximately 0.30 in all populations, and heritability of Fusarium damaged kernels ranged from 0.17 to 0.20. In 2003, selection was imposed on all populations, and the 8 lowest severity families were advanced and evaluated at Lexington and Princeton in 2004. Selection response, averaged over both locations ranged from 1.9 to 4.1 % reduction in severity. Progress in FHB resistance breeding in the absence of major resistance genes is likely to be constrained by low heritability and interactions with the environment.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium head blight (FHB), or head scab is an economically important disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). After a series of epidemics in the 1990s, a huge resistance-breeding effort was undertaken in numerous wheat producing states. Many breeders have transferred the Type II resistance to spread of the disease in the spike from Chinese spring wheat cultivars, but soft red winter (SRW) wheat breeders are also interested in determining how much resistance is available in adapted germplasm. Three SRW populations consisting of 40 families each were grown under artificial inoculation and mist irrigation in 2003 and 2004 at Lexington and Princeton, KY. Anthesis date, plant height, disease severity, Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and deoxynivalenol (DON) concentration was measured. Broad sense heritability estimates were generated from entry means over the four environments. Heritability of severity was approximately 0.30 in all populations, and heritability of FDK ranged from 0.17 to 0.20. In 2003, a selection intensity of 20% was imposed on all populations, and the 8 lowest severity families were advanced without recombination and evaluated at Lexington and Princeton in 2004. Direct selection response, averaged over both locations ranged from 1.9 to 4.1 % reduction in severity. Correlated response in FDK ranged from 0.4 to 6.5 %, and there was also a correlated increase in plant height of 1.7 to 4.1 cm after one cycle of selection. Progress in FHB resistance breeding in the absence of major QTL is likely to be constrained by low heritability and G X E interaction.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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