Variation in anther extrusion and its impact on fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol content in oat (Avena sativa L.)

Selamawit Tekle, Sissela Stråbø Schofer, Xinyao He, Yanhong Dong, Åsmund Bjørnstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Variation and inheritance of anther extrusion and its effects on Fusarium head blight were studied. On a 0 to 9 scale, variation ranged from 1 to 6 in a North American oat panel and from 0 to 8 in a Nordic population. The inheritance was studied in two recombinant inbred line populations (Fiia × Stormogul and Svea × Stormogul). Fiia and Svea are recent white-seeded cultivars with low to medium anther extrusion, while Stormogul is an old black-seeded cultivar with high anther extrusion. Highly significant transgressive segregations and high heritabilities were observed (h2 = 0.91 in Fiia × Stormogul and h2 = 0.83 in Svea × Stormogul). Another extrusion was negatively correlated with Fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol in spawn-inoculated field experiments, but significantly only in Fiia × Stormogul where the range in resistance was widest. Correlations were reversed in spray-inoculated greenhouse experiments, apparently spraying open florets defeated the avoidance mechanism. Anther extrusion may help oat avoid Fusarium infection in the field, but the genetic variance is inadequate and high anther extrusion is rare in modern genepools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number354
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Mr. Yalew Tarkegne and Ms. Cecilie Yri for excellent technical assistance in the field experiments. The authors also acknowledge the AFRI CORE project for allowing the use of their oat genotype panel. AFRI CORE is an acronym for the funding agent for the Agriculture National Food Research Initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture and the The Collaborative Oat Research Enterprise (CORE), led by Eric Jackson and Nicholas Tinker.

Funding Information:
Funding: The work was supported through two grants from the Norwegian Genetic Resources Council, “Broadening the Genetic Base of Oats” (2012-2014) and “Can Genetic Variation in Flowering Biology Reduce Fusarium Infection in Oats?” (2015-2018).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Anther extrusion
  • Anther retention
  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Fusarium head blight
  • Spawn inoculation
  • Spray inoculation


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