Global temperature increases will affect Fusarium head blight (FHB) levels in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). A pressing question is whether current sources of resistance will be effective in a warmer environment. We evaluated phenotypic response to disease in 238 soft winter wheat breeding lines and cultivars grown in 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 under control and warmed (+3 °C) conditions. Warming was achieved with heating cables buried 3 cm in the rhizosphere. We measured heading date, plant height, yield, FHB rating, Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK), deoxynivalenol (DON), leaf blotch rating, powdery mildew rating and leaf rust rating. There were significant (p < 0.01) differences among genotypes for all traits measured. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified 19 and 10 significant SNPs in the control and warmed treatments, respectively. FDK and DON levels were often significantly (p < 0.05) higher in warmed than in control when we contrasted alleles at important quantitative trait locus (QTL) such as Fhb1, Rht-B1 and D1 and all vernalization and photoperiod loci. Increased rhizosphere temperature resulted in a significantly (p < 0.01) earlier heading date (~3.5 days) both years of the study. Rank correlation between warmed and control treatments was moderate (r = 0.56). Though encouraging, it indicates that selection for performance under warming should be carried out in a warmed environment.

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Published in Agronomy, v. 8, issue 5, 68, p. 1-20.

© 2018 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 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This work was funded by grants from USDA Triticeae Coordinate Agricultural Project, N 59-0206-4-002 and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative under Agreement No. 59-0206-9-054.

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The following are available online at https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4395/8/5/68/s1, Figure S1: Monthly average of soil temperature in warmed and control treatments from temperature probes placed at a depth of 10 cm below the ground. Temperatures were collected daily every 15 min, 2016 (a) and 2017 (b) at Lexington, KY.

agronomy-08-00068-s001.pdf (16 kB)
Figure S1.