Resistance to fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol accumulation in wheat

G. H. Bai, R. Plattner, A. Desjardins, F. Kolb, S. S. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fusarium head blight (FHB). caused by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe (telomorph = Gibberella zeae (Schw.)), is an important wheat disease world-wide. Production of deoxynivalenol (DON) by F. graminearum in infected wheat grain is detrimental to livestock and is also a safety concern in human foods. An international collection of 116 wheat lines was evaluated for FHB resistance and concentration of DON in grain. Plants were inoculated with mixed isolates of F. graminearum in the greenhouse by injecting conidia into a single spikelet of each spike and in the field by scattering F. graminearuminfected wheat kernels on the soil surface. FHB symptoms were evaluated by visual inspection in both the greenhouse and field, and DON was analysed by HPLC. Significant differences in FHB ratings and DON levels were observed among cultivars. In the greenhouse test, visual symptoms varied from no spread of FHB from the inoculated spikelet to spread throughout the spike, and DON levels ranged from trace levels to 283 mg/kg. In the field test, DON ranged from 2.8 to 52 mg/kg. The greenhouse test identified 16 wheat lines from various origins that accumulated less than 2 mg/kg DON. These lines may be useful as sources for breeding wheat cultivars with lower DON levels. Correlation coefficients were significant between FHB symptom ratings, seed quality traits, and DON levels. Thus, the percentage of scabbed spikelets and kernels can be generally used to predict DON levels in harvested wheat grain. In breeding programmes, selection for plants having few scabbed spikelets and scabbed kernels is most likely to result in low DON levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Breeding
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • DON
  • Fusarium graminearum
  • Mycotoxin
  • Triticum aestivum
  • Vomitoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Resistance to fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol accumulation in wheat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this