The duration of wheat susceptibility to Fusarium infection has implications for risk forecasting, fungicide timing, and the likelihood that visible kernel damage may underpredict deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination. A field experiment was conducted to explore the impact of varying infection timings on Fusarium head blight (FHB) development in winter wheat. Trials in four successive years (2010 to 2013) in North Carolina utilized one susceptible and one moderately resistant cultivar possessing similar maturity, stature, and grain quality. Inoculum was applied in the form of sprayed Fusarium graminearum conidia. In the first year, the nine infection timings were from 0 to 21 days after anthesis (daa), whereas in the following 3 years, they ranged from 0 to 13 daa. Infection progression was compared among inoculation timings by sampling spikes five to six times during grain-fill. Based on DON, percent kernel damage and kernel infection, and fungal spread as assayed via qPCR, the moderately resistant cultivar had at least a 2- to 3-day shorter window of susceptibility to damaging FHB infection than the susceptible cultivar. The results suggest that duration of susceptibility is an important aspect of cultivar resistance to FHB. In 2012, the window of susceptibility for both cultivars was extended by cold snaps during anthesis. After debranning in one year, the majority of DON was found to be in the bran fraction of kernels; there was also a trend for later infections to lead to a higher percentage of DON in the nonbran fraction, as well as a higher ratio of DON to FDK.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by SexSeed – Sexual Plant Reproduction – Seed Formation (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2015 Proposal ID 690946), the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This research was supported by SexSeed - Sexual Plant Reproduction - Seed Formation (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2015 Proposal ID 690946), the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Cereals and grains
- Disease management
- Fusarium graminearum
- Fusarium head blight
- Infection timing