Enhancing fusarium head blight research capacity to reduce mycotoxin contamination in wheat

Posted on 06.02.2017 | Last Modified 15.09.2021
Lead Researcher (PI): Anita Brule-Babel
Institution: University of Manitoba
Total WGRF Funding: $94,596
Co-Funders: MAFRD-Agri-Food Research & Development Initiative, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association
Start Date: 2016
Project Length: 3 Years

To support further development of FHB resistant cultivars for all public breeding programs in western Canada through enhancement of FHB screening capacity. To support research to identify new sources of FHB resistance in adapted germplasm and to provide insight into the role of DON and other toxins in the host-pathogen interaction.

Project Summary:

The equipment purchased through this project supports our ability to efficiently seed and harvest a large coordinated FHB nursery. This nursery includes breeding materials from all wheat breeding programs in western Canada, provides official FHB data for the variety registration trials that support variety registration, and generates data for research projects that study the inheritance of FHB resistance. This nursery is a critical tool that supports advances in breeding for FHB resistance. Generation of varieties with better FHB resistance benefits the entire value chain by reducing yield losses to FHB, improving end use quality of the grain and ensuring the food and feed safety of wheat produced in western Canada.

The genetic study conducted in this project has characterized the nature of FHB resistance in a winter wheat line that has high resistance to FHB in the field and lower DON accumulation. Markers linked to FHB resistance were validated and can be used to select for resistance in other genetic materials within the winter wheat breeding program. This will improve the efficiency of FHB breeding. The additional work related to the role of the semi-dwarfing genes in relation to FHB resistance will provide direction to breeders in relation to which semi-dwarfing genes can be used without negatively impact FHB resistance. This has benefits for both spring and winter wheat breeding.