Validation of quantitative trait loci for Fusarium head blight and kernel discoloration in barley

Paulo C. Canci, Lexingtons M. Nduulu, Gary J. Muehlbauer, Ruth Dill-Macky, Donald C. Rasmusson, Kevin P. Smith

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Validation of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) is a prerequisite to marker assisted selection (MAS), however, only a fraction of QTLs identified for important plant traits have been independently tested for validation. Resistance to the diseases kernel discoloration (KD) and Fusarium head blight (FHB) in barley is complex and technically difficult to assess, and therefore QTLs for these traits are suitable targets for MAS. We selected two lines, from a QTL mapping population created using the resistant variety Chevron, and crossed them to susceptible parents to generate two validation populations. Genetic maps of both populations were developed for five chromosomes covering 15 selected regions containing QTLs for FHB severity, KD score and concentration of deoxynivalenol (DON), a mycotoxin produced by the FHB pathogen. QTL analyses using these validation populations confirmed that five of the possible 15 QTL regions were associated with at least one of the three traits. While some QTL were detected inconsistently across environments, QTL that could be subjected to validation in both populations were confirmed in both populations in seven out of eight instances. A QTL for KD score on chromosome 6(6H) was confirmed in both validation populations in eight of nine environments and was also associated with FHB in three of six environments. A QTL for FHB on chromosome 2(2H) was confirmed and was also associated with KD and heading date. Marker assisted selection at these two QTLs should enhance disease resistance, however, the QTL on chromosome 2(2H) will also delay heading date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-104
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004


  • Bipolaris sorokiniana
  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Disease resistance
  • FHB
  • Fusarium graminearum
  • Marker assisted selection
  • QTL
  • breeding


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