A model wheat cultivar for transformation to improve resistance to Fusarium Head Blight

Caroline A. Mackintosh, David F. Garvin, Lorien E. Radmer, Shane J. Heinen, Gary J. Muehlbauer

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34 Scopus citations


Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused primarily by Fusarium graminearum, is a major disease problem in wheat (Triticum aestivum). Genetic engineering holds significant potential to enhance FHB resistance in wheat. Due to the requirement of screening for FHB resistance on flowers at anthesis, the number of screens carried out in a year is limited. Our objective was to evaluate the feasibility of using the rapid-maturing dwarf wheat cultivar Apogee as an alternative genotype for transgenic FHB resistance research. Our transformation efficiency (number of transgenic plants/number of embryos) for Apogee was 1.33%. Apogee was also found to exhibit high FHB susceptibility and reached anthesis within 4 weeks. Interestingly, microsatellite marker haplotype analysis of the chromosome 3BS FHB resistant quantitative trait locus (QTL) region indicated that this region maybe deleted in Apogee. Our results indicate that Apogee is particularly well suited for accelerating transgenic FHB resistance research and transgenic wheat research in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Cell Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Drs. Howard Rines and Ruth Dill-Macky for critical review of the manuscript. We are most grateful to Dr. Tom Clemente and Shirley Sato of the University of Nebraska for their advice and assistance in generating the transgenic wheat plants. We thank Dr. Peter Quail of the Plant Gene Expression Center, UC-Berkeley for his kind gift of the pAHC25 plasmid. We also thank Dr. Ruth Dill-Macky for her generous gift of F. graminearum inoculum. The authors thank Zachary Blankenheim and Joel Mason (USDA-ARS Plant Science Research Unit, St. Paul, MN) for their assistance in plant care and obtaining FHB and comparative growth data. We are most grateful to the USWBSI and the Minnesota Small Grains Initiative for funding.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Apogee
  • Fusarium graminearum
  • Fusarium head blight
  • Transgenic wheat
  • Triticum aestivum


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