Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a disease in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum Schwabe. Fusarium head blight poses potential economic losses and health risks due to the accumulation of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) on infected seed heads. The objectives of this study were to identify novel FHB resistance loci using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach and to evaluate two genomic selection (GS) approaches to improve prediction accuracies for FHB traits in a population of 354 soft red winter wheat (SRWW) genotypes. The GS approaches included GS+GWAS, where markers associated with a trait were used as fixed effects, and multivariate GS (MVGS), where correlated traits were used as covariates. The population was evaluated in FHB nurseries in Fayetteville and Newport, AR, and Winnsboro, LA, from 2014 to 2017. Genotypes were phenotyped for DON, Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK), incidence (INC), and severity (SEV). Forty-two single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were significantly (false discovery rate, q [FDRq] ≤.10) associated with resistance traits across 17 chromosomes. Ten significant SNPs were identified for DON, notably on chromosomes 2BL and 3BL. Eleven were identified for FDK, notably on chromosomes 4BL, 3AL, 1BL, 5BL, and 5DL. Nine were identified for INC, notably on chromosomes 2BS, 2BL, 7BL, 5DL, 6AS, and 5DS. Twelve were identified for SEV, notably on chromosomes 3BL, 4AL, and 4BL. The naïve GS models significantly outperformed the GS+GWAS model for all traits, whereas MVGS models significantly outperformed the naïve GS models for all traits. Results from this study will facilitate the development of SRWW cultivars with improved FHB resistance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the USDA‐ARS, under Agreement no. USDA‐ARS 59‐0206‐7‐005, a cooperative project with the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI), the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Grant 2017‐67007‐25939 (Wheat‐CAP), and in collaboration with SunGrains. Individual state commodity boards also supported this project.
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