Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a destructive wheat disease of global importance. Resistance breeding depends heavily on the Fhb1 gene. The CIMMYT line Shanghai-3/Catbird (SHA3/CBRD) is a promising source without this gene. A recombinant inbred line (RIL) population from the cross of SHA3/CBRD with the German spring wheat cv. Naxos was evaluated for FHB resistance and related traits in field trials using spray and spawn inoculation in Norway and point inoculation in China. After spray and spawn inoculation, FHB severities were negatively correlated with both anther extrusion (AE) and plant height (PH). The QTL analysis showed that the Rht-B1b dwarfing allele co-localized with a QTL for low AE and increased susceptibility after spawn and spray inoculation. In general, SHA3/CBRD contributed most of the favorable alleles for resistance to severity after spray and spawn inoculation, while Naxos contributed more favorable alleles for reduction in FDK and DON content and resistance to severity after point inoculation. SHA3/CBRD contributed a major resistance QTL close to the centromere on 2DLc affecting FHB severity and DON after all inoculation methods. This QTL was also associated with AE and PH, with high AE and tall alleles contributed by SHA3/CBRD. Several QTL for AE and PH were detected, and low AE or reduced PH was always associated with increased susceptibility after spawn and spray inoculation. Most of the other minor FHB resistance QTL from SHA3/CBRD were associated with AE or PH, while the QTL from Naxos were mostly not. After point inoculation, no other QTL for FHB traits was associated with AE or PH, except the 2DLc QTL which was common across all inoculation methods. Marker-assisted selection based on the 2DLc QTL from SHA3/CBRD combined with phenotypic selection for AE is recommended for resistance breeding based on this valuable source of resistance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Ph.D. scholarship of the first author was funded by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and the research was supported by grants from the Research Council of Norway (projects no. 178273 and 185046), and the research foundation of Jiangsu, China (projects BE2010757, BZ2009098, SCX(11)2018 and CX(11)2071). Additionally, the authors gratefully acknowledge their technicians, Yalew Tarkegne for the preparation of Fusarium inoculum and technical assistance in the field and Anne Guri Marøy for the marker analyses.