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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #444477

Research Project: Development of Elite Durum Wheat Germplasm with Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight

Location: Crop Improvement and Genetics Research

Project Number: 2030-21430-015-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most destructive diseases of durum wheat (Triticum durum) and common wheat (T. aestivum). In the past two decades, several major FHB-resistant quantitative trait loci (QTL), including seven formally designated QTL (Fhb1 through Fhb7) and two PI 277012-derived 5A QTL, have been identified in common wheat and its wild relatives. Some QTL such as Fhb1 have been deployed in many common wheat varieties. However, none of these major QTL have been deployed in the modern durum varieties. The objectives of this cooperative research project are to 1) Develop high-breeding value durum germplasm with a combination of low cadmium, high yield, good end-use quality, and a high level of resistance to Fusarium head blight (FHB) and 2) pyramid multiple major FHB-resistance QTL into modern durum wheat varieties.

To develop high-breeding value durum lines with a combination of low cadmium, high yield, good end-use quality, and a high level of FHB resistance in Objective 1, we have developed many durum lines carrying genes Cdu1 for low cadmium uptake and Fhb1 and/or 5AS/5AL QTL for FHB resistance derived from hexaploid wheat lines ‘Sumai 3’ and PI 277012, including 37 BC2F6 lines in the backgrounds of durum varieties ‘Carpio’ and ‘Joppa’ and 160 BC2F3 lines in the background of durum variety ‘ND Riverland’. All these lines will be evaluated for their FHB resistance in the FHB nurseries in two locations (Prosper and Fargo, ND) in the summer of 2023. The lines with improved FHB resistance will be selected and further evaluated for FHB resistance and agronomic traits in greenhouse and field FHB nurseries in 2024. The 37 BC2F6 lines will be evaluated for yield and end-use quality in the yield trial with three replications at two locations (Prosper and Langdon, ND) during the summer of 2023. To intergate multiple major FHB-resistance QTL into modern durum wheat varieties in Objective 2, Wangshuibai (Fhb1, Fhb2, Fhb4, Fhb5) and a wheat-Thinopyrum elongatum chromosome 7B/7E introgression line carrying Fhb7 will be used donors in backcrosses with durum ND Riveland. The BC1F1 plants will be genotyped using the markers diagnostic or tightly linked to Fhb1, Fhb2, Fhb4, Fhb5, and Fhb7. The BC1F1 plants carrying these QTL will be backcrossed four times. The BC5F1 plants carrying Fhb1, Fhb2, Fhb4, and Fhb5 from Wangshuibai will be crossed to the BC5F1 plants carrying Fhb7. The resultant F1 plants carrying all five QTL will be further crossed to the elite durum lines carrying PI 272012 derived 5AS/5AL QTL. The plants that are homozygous for Fhb1, Fhb2, Fhb4, Fhb5, Fhb7, 272012 derived 5AS/5AL QTL will be selected by genotyping approximately 6,000 BC5F2 plants from the last crosses. The new durum lines derived from the selected BC5F2 plants will be evaluated for FHB resistance in the greenhouse and the FHB nurseries in two locations (Fargo and Prosper, ND) and the top lines will also be evaluated for agronomic traits, yield, and end-use quality in a yield trial in the two locations (Prosper and Langdon, ND).