Fusarium head blight (FHB) primarily caused by Fusarium graminearum is a key disease of small grains. Diseased spikes show symptoms of premature bleaching shortly after infection and have aborted or shriveled seeds, resulting in reduced yields. The fungus also deteriorates quality and safety of the grain because of production of mycotoxins, especially deoxynivalenol (DON), which can result in grain being docked or rejected at the point of sale. Genetic host resistance to FHB is quantitative, and no complete genetic resistance against this devastating disease is available. Alternative approaches to develop new sources of FHB resistance are needed. In this study, we performed extensive forward genetic screening of the M4 generation of an ethyl methane sulfonate-induced mutagenized population of cultivar Jagger to isolate variants with FHB resistance. In field testing, 74 mutant lines were found to have resistance against FHB spread, and 30 of these lines also had low DON content. Subsequent testing over 2 years in controlled greenhouse conditions revealed 10 M6 lines showing significantly lower FHB spread. Seven and 6 of those 10 lines also had reduced DON content and fewer Fusarium-damaged kernels, respectively. Future endeavors will include identification of the mutations that led to resistance in these variants.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by funding from the U.S. Wheat Barley and Scab Initiative (awards 59-0206-0-177 and 59-0200-6-018), the National Science Foundation (award 1943155), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (awards 2020-67013-32558 and 2020-67013-31460).
© 2021 The American Phytopathological Society.
- Ethyl methane sulfonate
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article