|Rapid, reliable and efficient phenotyping for crown rot resistance and tolerance in wheat.
Cassy Percy: University of Southern Queensland
<div>Crown rot caused by <em>Fusarium pseudograminearum </em>(<em>Fp</em>) is a significant soil borne disease of winter cereals. Phenotyping for this disease is laborious and often challenged by high variation between experiments. Current and alternative methods of measuring the host response to <em>Fp</em> infection are being tested in field experiments in the northern grain-growing region of Australia. Sampling strategies, disease severity, reflectance patterns, yield and yield components are being measured in inoculated and non-inoculated plants of a standard set of 12 wheat genotypes ranging in susceptibility to crown rot. Results have shown assessing 30 to 60 tillers per plot is the most efficient sampling strategy for disease severity ratings. It is more efficient to allocate resources to replicates, then plants and then tillers, however this will vary considering which tillers are sampled. Hyperspectral images analysed by the wavelet and filter band methods ranked the 12 wheat genotypes into three classes as most resistant, middle, and susceptible, with an accuracy of 80% to 90% compared with the expected crown rot ranking. This research broadens our understanding of this host-pathogen relationship, improves the way we assess crown rot disease in field environments, and provides a rapid, reliable and efficient screening tool to researchers and breeding companies which will enhance capacity to deliver crown rot resistant and tolerant varieties to growers in Australia and internationally.</div>