Comparison of commercial European wheat cultivars to Fusarium infection of head and seedling tissue

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Susceptibility of eight commercial European wheat cultivars to fusarium head blight (FHB) disease caused by Fusarium graminearum, F. culmorum, F. poae and Microdochium nivale (formerly known as Fusarium nivale) was compared under controlled environment conditions (16°C). FHB did not differentially affect cultivars in terms of disease symptoms, fungal DNA content of grain or deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination. However, the Hungarian-grown cultivars GK-Othalom and Fatima 2 (of Romanian origin) showed greater type V resistance (yield tolerance) to FHB than did the others. Also, nivalenol was produced by F. poae in these two cultivars and in Italian cultivar Norba, but not in other cultivars. Overall, significant relationships were found between the FHB and seedling blight resistance in vitro of these eight cultivars, but such relationships were generally highly dependent on cultivar, and therefore it is likely that the in vitro test is at best measuring components of FHB resistance and/or genotype-specific resistance components.

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