Identification of intergeneric and synthetic spring wheat lines with resistance to Fusarium head blight
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a serious disease in many cereal crops worldwide, as it can drastically reduce both yield and quality in infected crops. Resistance to FHB is therefore a desirable trait for incorporation into new wheat cultivars. Wild relatives are a source of new genetic variation and have been shown to enhance disease resistance when hybridized with wheat. This research has focused on evaluating intergeneric and interspecific wheat lines for resistance to FHB. Intergeneric hybrids of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and Agropyron repens syn. Elytrigia repens, and synthetic wheat lines produced at CIMMYT, were evaluated under greenhouse conditions for resistance to FHB caused by Fusarium graminearum. Approximately 35% of the intergeneric lines and 15% of the synthetic lines consistently displayed moderate to high levels of Type II resistance. Pollen staining was conducted to determine the fertility levels of the intergeneric lines. 79% of the F3 lines and 72% of the F5 and F6 lines displayed fertility levels above 75%. Control cultivars displayed fertility levels ranging from 88-94%. Generally, lines that rated as moderately to highly resistant were also highly fertile. These lines could be of significant value in wheat breeding programs aimed at integrating new sources of resistance to Fusarium head blight.
intergeneric wheat hybrids, synthetic wheat, Agropyron repens, Fusarium graminearum, disease resistance, pollen fertility
Soils and Crops Workshop