Theoretical and Applied Genetics (2018) 131:1939–1951
Molecular mapping of QTL for Fusarium head blight resistance
introgressed into durum wheat
· Yueqiang Leng
· Shiaoman Chao
· Steven S. Xu
· Shaobin Zhong
Received: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published online: 4 June 2018
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
Key message The major QTL for FHB resistance from hexaploid wheat line PI 277012 was successfully introgressed
into durum wheat and minor FHB resistance QTL were detected in local durum wheat cultivars. A combination of
these QTL will enhance FHB resistance of durum wheat.
Abstract Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of durum wheat. To
combat the disease, great eﬀorts have been devoted to introgress FHB resistance from its related tetraploid and hexaploid
wheat species into adapted durum cultivars. However, most of the quantitative trait loci (QTL) for FHB resistance existing
in the introgression lines are not well characterized or validated. In this study, we aimed to identify and map FHB resistance
QTL in a population consisting of 205 recombinant inbred lines from the cross between Joppa (a durum wheat cultivar) and
10Ae564 (a durum wheat introgression line with FHB resistance derived from the hexaploid wheat line PI 277012). One
QTL (Qfhb.ndwp-2A) from Joppa and two QTL (Qfhb.ndwp-5A and Qfhb.ndwp-7A) from 10Ae564 were identiﬁed through
phenotyping of the mapping population for FHB severity and DON content in greenhouse and ﬁeld and genotyping with
90K wheat Inﬁnium iSelect SNP arrays. Qfhb.ndwp-2A explained 14, 15, and 9% of the phenotypic variation, respectively,
for FHB severity in two greenhouse experiments and for mean DON content across the two greenhouse environments. Qfhb.
ndwp-5A explained 19, 10, and 7% of phenotypic variation, respectively, for FHB severity in one greenhouse experiment,
mean FHB severity across two ﬁeld experiments, and mean DON content across the two greenhouse experiments. Qfhb.
ndwp-7A was only detected for FHB severity in the two greenhouse experiments, explaining 9 and 11% of the phenotypic
variation, respectively. This study conﬁrms the existence of minor QTL in North Dakota durum cultivars and the successful
transfer of the major QTL from PI 277012 into durum wheat.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most important
fungal diseases threatening wheat production worldwide.
The disease is mainly caused by Fusarium graminearum
Schwabe [= teleomorph Gibberella zeae (Schw.) Petch] in
North America. Huge economic losses can be caused by
FHB in wheat production due to signiﬁcant yield reduc-
tion and mycotoxins contamination of harvested grains.
Mycotoxins pose a health risk to both human and live-
stock (McMullen et al. 1997; Bai et al. 2002; Pestka 2010;
Covarelli et al. 2015), and they are of particular concern
for durum wheat [(Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum (Desf.)
Husn., 2n = 4x = 28, AABB)] as it is predominantly con-
sumed by humans. Although cultural practices and fungicide
applications can mitigate the impact of FHB on wheat to
some extent, use of resistant cultivars is considered the most
eﬀective and economically eﬃcient strategy for management
of the disease.
Resistance to FHB is a complex and quantitatively
inherited trait controlled by multiple genes and aﬀected
by environmental factors (Bai and Shaner 1994). Several
types of FHB resistance have been described (Schroeder and
Christensen 1963; Mesterhazy 1995), including resistances
Communicated by Thomas Miedaner.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (https ://doi.org/10.1007/s0012 2-018-3124-4) contains
supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* Shaobin Zhong
Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State
University, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
USDA-ARS, Cereal Crops Research Unit, Red River Valley
Agricultural Research Center, Fargo, ND 58102, USA