Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type





Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Dr. David A. Van Sanford


Fusarium graminearum, the causative agent of Fusarium head blight, is an economically important pathogen of wheat (Triticum aestivum). Breeding Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistant wheat requires knowledge of the underlying genetic control of FHB resistance.

Two nine-parent diallel analyses were completed in greenhouse and field environments. Combining abilities, variance component ratios, and narrow sense heritabilities for FHB resistance and deoxynivalenol levels were calculated. Significant general and specific combining ability effects were observed. Resistance to FHB seems to be mostly controlled by additive genetic effects with some dominance noted in the field. Resistance noted in the greenhouse environment may not hold up in the field.

Genetic parameters for FHB resistance and four related traits were estimated in three populations. Moderate to high broad sense heritabilities for FHB severity and Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) were observed. Incidence of FHB had low to moderate broad sense heritabilities. Correlations between FDK and severity and FDK and incidence were moderate and low, respectively, and do not support indirect selection for FHB severity or incidence based on FDK data alone. Substantial predicted gains from family selection were observed and therefore selection of FHB resistant wheat lines should be based on family means and not individual selection.

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