Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Agriculture (MAgr)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Plant and Soil Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. David A. Van Sanford


Fusarium head blight (FHB) or head scab, caused by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe [telomorph: Gibberella zeae Schwein.(Petch)], is one of the most destructive diseases of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) worldwide. Numerous strategies for scab resistance breeding are in use, including phenotypic selection for low severity and marker-assisted selection for resistance QTL. The most destructive consequences of scab are evidenced through a reduction in grain quality, and the presence of mycotoxins, the most common of which is deoxynivalenol (DON). Thus, there is great interest among breeders in selecting for resistance to both of these traits. To this end, a study was devised as follows. In 2010, 20 bulk F3 SRW wheat populations with scab resistant parents in their pedigrees were harvested by population from unreplicated plots near Lexington, KY. The plots were affected by a naturally occurring mild-moderate scab epidemic. The grain was sorted on a USDA/ARS and National Manufacturing Seed Sorter System with color camera according to a calibration that reflected visual differences between asymptomatic grain and grain showing FHB symptoms. This process was repeated in 2011 using grain from plots that had conidial suspension applied at anthesis. In 2012, an unreplicated plot study of the C0, C1 and C2 cycles of selection, inoculated with grain spawn and conidial suspension, was evaluated for Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and DON concentration. An additional cycle of selection was conducted by running the bulk grain through the sorter. In October 2012, 4 selection cycles of the 20 populations were planted in a RCB experiment at Lexington and Princeton, KY. Bulk populations were planted in both scab nursery and plots, and C3 accepted and rejected of all populations and derived lines of 2 populations were planted in the scab nursery in Lexington, KY. Some populations had FDK and DON reduction with selection, and some derived lines had either numerical or significant reduction with selection. Although the accepted fraction had non-significant reduction compared with the rejected fraction over the populations, FDK and DON means were obviously lower in accepted than in rejected fractions.

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