Pathogenicity and quantitative resistance in Mediterranean durum and bread wheat cultivars of Syrian origin towards Fusarium head blight agents under controlled conditions
Nachaat Sakr 1, A-F
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Department of Agriculture, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria, Damascus, Syria
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article
Submission date: 2019-02-25
Acceptance date: 2019-04-26
Online publication date: 2020-01-08
Corresponding author
Nachaat Sakr   

Agriculture, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria, 17th Nissan St. – Kafersouseh, 6091, Damascus, Syria
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2019;59(4):451-464
Although Syrian high-yielding wheat cultivars grown under Mediterranean conditions include acceptable levels of resistance to biotic constraints, little is known about their susceptibility to Fusarium head blight (FHB), a harmful disease of wheat cultivation worldwide. The capacity of 16 fungal isolates of four FHB species to confer the disease on spikes and spikelets of six widely grown old and modern Syrian durum and bread wheat cultivars with known in vitro quantitative resistance to FHB was evaluated. Quantitative traits were visually assessed using spray and point inoculations for determining disease development rates, disease incidence (DI) and disease severity (DS) under controlled conditions. Differences in pathogenicity and susceptibility among wheat cultivars were observed, emphasizing the need for breeders to include aggressive isolates or a mixture of isolates representative of the FHB diversity in their screenings for selection of disease resistant cultivars. Bread wheat cultivars showed lower levels of spike and spikelet damage than durum cultivars regardless of the date of cultivar release. Overall, the six wheat cultivars expressed acceptable resistance levels to initial fungal infection and fungal spread. Quantitative traits showed significant correlation with previous standardized area under disease progress curve (AUDPCstandard) data generated in vitro. Thus, the predictive ability of AUDPCstandard appears to be crucial in assessing pathogenicity and resistance in adult wheat plants under controlled conditions. While in the Mediterranean countries the risk of disease is progressively increasing, the preliminary data in this report adds to our knowledge about four FHB species pathogenicity on a Syrian scale, where the environment is quite similar to some Mediterranean wheat growing areas, and show that Syrian cultivars could be new resistant donors with favorable agronomical characteristics in FHB-wheat breeding programs.
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
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