Previous results from our lab have shown that using an optical sorter to identify Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistant breeding lines was effective at reducing the toxin deoxynivalenol (DON) and FHB-associated kernel damage. In this paper we quantified the proportion of desirable genotypes at FHB resistance QTL in lines from three selection cycles of optical sorting. Breeding lines were genotyped at loci on chromosomes 3BS, 2DL, and 5A using the following DNA markers: TaHRC, CFD233, and GWM304. TaHRC is a KASP marker for Fhb1, a major FHB resistance QTL on chromosome 3BS. CFD233 is an SSR marker for Qfhs.nau-2DL on chromosome 2DL. GWM304 is an SSR marker for Qfhs.ifa-5A on chromosome 5A. Sorter selection was effective at identifying lines that had the resistant genotype at TaHRC; in other words, the sorter was able to identify lines with resistance alleles at Fhb1. The sorter was less effective at selecting for the resistant genotype at CFD233 and GWM304. However, the proportion of lines with resistant genotypes at GWM304 did increase with additional sorter selection, just not to the degree that was observed for the Fhb1-associated marker. The proportion of lines with resistant alleles at CFD233 did not show a consistent trend. In addition to increasing the proportion of lines with Fhb1 and Qfhs.ifa-5A each selection cycle, optical sorter-based mass selection enhanced FHB resistance in different marker genotype combinations evaluated in this study. For example, there were net reductions in DON and kernel damage after two cycles of sorter selection in 15X110601S07002, a line with Fhb1, with Qfhs.nau-2DL, and with Qfhs.ifa-5A; final C3 DON levels were 63% of the resistant check (KY02C-3005-25). Kernel damage was also reduced in 15X110601A08221 a line without Fhb1, without Qfhs.nau-2DL, and without Qfhs.ifa-5A. Our findings suggest the increased resistance observed in different marker genotype combinations was conferred by QTL other than Fhb1, QFhs.nau-2DL, and Qfhs.ifa-5, and validate our previous results that the optical sorter is effective at selecting FHB-resistant breeding material.

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Published in Frontiers in Plant Science, v. 11, article no.: 1318.

© 2020 Carmack, Clark, Dong, Brown-Guedira and Van Sanford.

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This work was funded by a grant from 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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