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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC ENHANCEMENT FOR RESISTANCE TO BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC STRESSES IN HARD WINTER WHEAT

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research Unit

Title: Variation and Transgression of Aggressiveness Among Two Gibberella Zeae Crosses Developed from Highly Aggressive Parental Isolates

Authors
item Voss, Hans-Henning -
item Bowden, Robert
item Leslie, John -
item Miedaner, T -

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2010
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Citation: Voss, H., Bowden, R.L., Leslie, J.F., Miedaner, T. 2010. Variation and Transgression of Aggressiveness Among Two Gibberella Zeae Crosses Developed from Highly Aggressive Parental Isolates. American Phytopathology Society. 10:1094/PHYTO-100-9-0904.

Interpretive Summary: The fungus Gibberella zeae (also known as Fusarium graminearum) is the most common cause of Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat worldwide. Aggressiveness is the most important fungal trait affecting disease severity and stability of host resistance. We made two genetic crosses between aggressive strains and collected the progeny of the crosses. We found that aggressiveness segregated among the progeny and that some progeny were more aggressive than either parent. This suggests that aggressiveness is controlled by many genes and that G. zeae may, therefore, adapt nonspecifically to increased quantitative host resistance. Breeders and pathologists will need to be vigilant for the possible erosion of current genetic resistance to this disease.

Technical Abstract: Gibberella zeae (anamorph: Fusarium graminearum) is the most common cause of Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat (Triticum aestivum) worldwide. Aggressiveness is the most important fungal trait affecting disease severity and stability of host resistance. Objectives were to analyze in two field experiments (i) segregation for aggressiveness among 120 progenies from each of two crosses of highly aggressive parents and (ii) stability of FHB resistance of seven moderately to highly resistant winter wheat cultivars against isolates varying for aggressiveness. Aggressiveness was measured as FHB severity per plot, Fusarium exoantigen absorbance, and deoxynivalenol content. In the first experiment, mean FHB ratings were 20 to 49% across environments and progeny. Significant genotypic variation was detected in both crosses (P < 0.01). Isolate–environment interaction explained approximately half of the total variance. Two transgressive segregants were found in cross B across environments. Traits were significantly (P < 0.05) intercorrelated. In the second experiment, despite significant (P < 0.05) genotypic variance for cultivar and isolate, no significant (P > 0.05) interaction was observed for any trait. In conclusion, progeny of highly aggressive parents might exhibit increased aggressiveness due to recombination and may, therefore, adapt nonspecifically to increased quantitative host resistance.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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