Combining different resistance components enhances resistance to Fusarium head blight in spring wheat

Rishi R. Burlakoti, Mohamed Mergoum, Shahryar F. Kianian, Tika B. Adhikari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease in wheat throughout the world. FHB resistance consists of two components: resistance to initial infection (type I) and resistance to spread within infected spikes (type II). Current wheat breeding programs for FHB focus on type II resistance, which limits pathogen spread but may not be sufficiently durable. To combine type I with existing type II resistance, 113 F9-derived recombinant inbred lines (RILs) were developed from a cross between three wheat genotypes Frontana, W9207, and Alsen. The RILs were evaluated for resistance to initial infection, FHB spread within spike, kernel damage, and deoxynivalenol (DON) content in two independent greenhouse experiments in 2006 and 2007. Among the 113 RILs, 20% lines showed ≤10% initial disease severity (IDS) and ≤11 to 30% final disease severity (FDS), and 19% had DON content ≤5 μg/g. Approximately 11% of the RILs showed tendency of higher resistance (as exhibited by lower IDS, FDS, and DON content) than the resistant parents. The 42 of the FHB-resistant RILs were analyzed with seven simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers or microsatellites known to be linked to FHB resistance. Approximately half of the RILs had molecular markers linked to both types of FHB resistance indicated the presence of type I and II resistance alleles in the RILs. The resistant RILs identified in this study should be useful for the future improvement of FHB resistance in spring wheat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank Tim Friesen for his valuable suggestions, the research staff at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at NDSU in Fargo, ND, for analyzing mycotoxins, and Shaukat Ali and Pragyan Burlakoti for their technical help in the greenhouse experiments. We thank Stephen M. Neate, Mary Pull, and Enrico Sassi for reviewing the manuscript. The first author was supported in part by the NDSU Graduate School Fellowship. This work was partly funded by the Agricultural Experiment Station at NDSU and the United States Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) of the USDA (Agreement No. 59-0790-5-076). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the USDA.


  • Disease resistance
  • Mycotoxin
  • Wheat scab


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