Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2007
Publication Date: 1/16/2008
Citation: Oliver, R.E., Cai, X., Friesen, T.L., Halley, S., Stack, R.W., Xu, S.S. 2008. Evaluation of Fusarium head blight resistance in tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum L.). Crop Science. 48:213-222.
Interpretive Summary: Fusarium head blight (FHB), a fungal disease commonly known as scab, has been a major threat to durum wheat production in North America since 1990s. Deployment of FHB-resistant cultivars has been considered the most effective and cost-efficient strategy to combat this disease; however, progress in developing FHB-resistant durum wheat cultivars has been limited because of lack of effective sources of FHB resistance in durum. Fortunately, durum has a large number of tetraploid relatives that have similar genetic make-up as durum. Those relatives could play an important role in improving resistance of durum to FHB if novel sources of resistance could be identified from them. We evaluated FHB reactions of 376 accessions under five cultivated tetraploid wheat subspecies, including Persian wheat, cultivated emmer wheat, Polish wheat, Oriental wheat, and Poulard wheat, in multiple greenhouse seasons and field nurseries. Based on the results from these screening experiments we identified 16 Persian wheat and four cultivated emmer wheat accessions with medium or high levels of resistance to FHB. They represent an invaluable source of resistance for the development of FHB-resistant cultivars and adapted germplasm in durum wheat.
Technical Abstract: Production of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum) in North America in recent years has been seriously threatened and compromised by epidemics of Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused mainly by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe [teleomorph Gibberella zeae (Schw.) Petch]. Deployment of FHB-resistant cultivars has been considered the most effective and cost-efficient strategy to combat this disease; however, progress in developing FHB-resistant durum wheat cultivars has been hindered by a lack of effective sources of resistance. The objective of this study was to identify tetraploid wheat germplasm that could be used to enhance FHB resistance in durum wheat. In this study, we evaluated FHB reactions in 376 accessions of five cultivated subspecies of T. turgidum, including Persian wheat (T. turgidum subsp. carthlicum), cultivated emmer wheat (T. turgidum subsp. dicoccum), Polish wheat (T. turgidum subsp. polonicum), Oriental wheat (T. turgidum subsp. turanicum), and Poulard wheat (T. turgidum subsp. turgidum). Point inoculation was used to evaluate resistance to the spread of infection over three greenhouse seasons, and the grain spawn method of inoculation was used to evaluate putatively resistant accessions in two field locations. Preliminary evaluation data showed that 16 T. turgidum subsp. carthlicum and four T. turgidum subsp. dicoccum accessions consistently exhibited medium or high levels of resistance to FHB. These accessions might carry genetic resistance to FHB and could be utilized directly in breeding programs to enhance FHB resistance in durum wheat.