Characterization of multiple resistance components against Fusarium head blight in wheat

This project focuses on seeking new sources of resistance for Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), and in understanding the resistance mechanisms, which are two key priorities for wheat breeders and pathologists.

  • Term:  3 year, beginning 2019

  • Funding Amount: $ 317,079

  • Lead Researcher(s): Dr. Randy Kutcher (University of Saskatchewan)

  • Funding Partners: Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association

Project Description

This project focuses on seeking new sources of resistance for Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), and in understanding the resistance mechanisms, which are two key priorities for wheat breeders and pathologists.

The Canadian wheat industry, including both bread and durum wheat, is threatened by FHB caused by Fusarium species because current cultivars lack adequate resistance. FHB resistance is quantitatively inherited, i.e. it is controlled by a large number of loci having small effects and is significantly influenced by environmental conditions. Resistance conferred by individual major components (Type I, II, III and IV resistance) is partial, and a combination of different resistance components is necessary to achieve the desired FHB resistance to protect wheat from yield losses.

This project builds on the ongoing projects, where bread wheat and tetraploid wheat association mapping (AM) panels were assembled and evaluated with the goal of improving FHB resistance. With advanced genomics and phenotyping tools, the proposed project

aims to explore novel FHB resistances within these two AM panels, and identify genetic determinants contributing to the novel FHB resistance to mitigate FHB for Saskatchewan wheat growers. The knowledge, germplasm, and markers generated from this project will accelerate breeding cycles and benefit the wheat industry.