Advances in wheat breeding for resistance to Fusarium head blight

Mawcha K.T., Zhang N., Wang Y.A., Yang W.X. (2022): Advances in wheat breeding for resistance to Fusarium head blight. Czech J. Genet. Plant Breed., 58: 167–188.

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Fusarium head blight (FHB), mainly caused by Fusarium graminearum, is one of the most devastating diseases of wheat globally. FHB causes an extensive reduction in yield and reduces the grain quality through its contamination with Fusarium toxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON), T2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, nivalenol, and zearalenone. This review provides an overview of updated progress of genetic studies on the resistance to FHB, with an emphasis on the sources of resistance to FHB, resistance gene/quantitative trait loci (QTL) mining, resistance gene cloning, major FHB resistance genes/QTL identification by molecular markers, and resistance mechanisms. The achievements of resistance breeding based on phenotype selection and molecular markers was also summarised. Based on the systematic analysis of breeding limitations and utilisation of FHB resistant materials, the authors put forward three suggestions: First, to toughen the resistance identification of wheat, testing traits such as Fusarium damaged kernel and DON need special attention as visual symptoms are less reliable, resistant varieties should be popularised, and the screening the resistant genes should be strengthened; The second is to use the additive effect of quantitative resistance genes accumulated from existing varieties to reduce the cost of resistance in order to create high yielding resistant varieties. Thirdly, to enhance research and utilization of new genes.

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