Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, is one of the most serious diseases impacting the U.S. barley (Hordeum vulgare) industry. The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), produced by the pathogen, renders grain unmarketable if concentrations exceed threshold values set for end-use markets. Development of cultivars with improved FHB resistance and reduced DON accumulation is necessary to ensure minimal losses. Elite hulled and hulless genotypes developed by the Virginia Tech winter barley breeding program were screened in inoculated, mist-irrigated FHB nurseries over 2 years at two locations in Virginia to validate resistance levels over years and locations. Results demonstrated that barley genotypes varied significantly for resistance to FHB and DON accumulation. The hulled ‘Nomini’, hulless ‘Eve’, and hulless line VA06H-48 were consistently resistant across locations to both FHB and DON accumulation. Screening the genotypes with molecular markers on chromosomes 2H and 6H for FHB and DON revealed quantitative trait loci regions which may confer resistance in the Virginia Tech germplasm. Ongoing and future work with mapping populations seeks to identify novel regions for resistance to FHB and DON accumulation unique to the Virginia Tech breeding program.
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