Qtl mapping of fusarium head blight and correlated agromorphological traits in an elite barley cultivar rasmusson

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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an important fungal disease affecting the yield and quality of barley and other small grains. Developing and deploying resistant barley cultivars is an essential component of an integrated strategy for reducing the adverse effects of FHB. Genetic mapping studies have revealed that resistance to FHB and the accumulation of pathogen-produced mycotoxins are controlled by many quantitative trait loci (QTL) with minor effects and are highly influenced by plant morphological traits and environmental conditions. Some prior studies aimed at mapping FHB resistance have used populations derived from crossing a Swiss landrace Chevron with elite breeding lines/cultivars. Both Chevron and Peatland, a sib-line of Chevron, were used as founders in the University of Minnesota barley breeding program. To understand the native resistance that might be present in the Minnesota breeding materials, a cross of an elite cultivar with a susceptible unadapted genotype is required. Here, a mapping population of 93 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was developed from a cross between a moderately susceptible elite cultivar ‘Rasmusson’ and a highly susceptible Japanese landrace PI 383933. This population was evaluated for FHB severity, deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation and various agromorphological traits. Genotyping of the population was performed with the barley iSelect 9K SNP chip and 1,394 SNPs were used to develop a genetic map. FHB severity and DON accumulation were negatively correlated with plant height (HT) and spike length (SL), and positively correlated with spike density (SD). QTL analysis using composite interval mapping (CIM) identified the largest effect QTL associated with FHB and DON on the centromeric region of chromosome 7H, which was also associated with HT, SL, and SD. A minor FHB QTL and a minor DON QTL were detected on chromosome 6H and chromosome 3H, respectively, and the Rasmusson alleles contributed to resistance. The 3H DON QTL likely represents native resistance in elite germplasm as the marker haplotype of Rasmusson at this QTL is distinct from that of Chevron. This study highlights the relationship between FHB resistance/susceptibility and morphological traits and the need for breeders to account for morphology when developing FHB resistant genotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1260
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - Aug 28 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 59-0206-4-021. This is a cooperative project with the United States Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Huang, Haas, Heinen, Steffenson, Smith and Muehlbauer.


  • Barley
  • DON
  • Elite germplasm
  • FHB
  • QTL
  • RIL population


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