Piyum A. Khatibi, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, and
Greg Berger, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg 24061;
Shuyu Liu, Texas AgriLife Research, Texas A & M University, Amarillo 79106; and
Wynse S. Brooks, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences,
Carl A. Griffey, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, and
David G. Schmale, III, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Tech
Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by the fungal plant pathogen Fusarium graminearum (teleomorph Gibberella zeae), is a devastating disease of barley (Hordeum vulgare) in the United States. Recent epidemics of FHB in the mid-Atlantic region have underscored the need to develop new commercial varieties of barley that are resistant to FHB and restrict accumulation of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON). FHB incidence, FHB index, and DON levels of Virginia hulled and hulless barley genotypes were evaluated over five years (2006 to 2010) in FHB nurseries in Virginia. FHB incidence ranged from 22.5% (2010) to 80.1% (2008), and mean DON levels ranged from 0.5 ± 0.4 (2008) to 2.4 ± 2.1 ppm (2010). Barley genotype played a significant role in determining FHB resistance in 2006 to 2009. DON levels were significantly different among barley genotypes in 2007, 2008, and 2009. FHB incidence was positively correlated with FHB index in all 5 years studied. In 2006 and 2010, FHB incidence and index were positively correlated with DON. Early spike emergence resulted in higher FHB incidence and index in 2007, 2008, and 2010. This preliminary work has identified some promising hulled and hulless barley genotypes for targeted breeding and commercialization efforts in FHB nurseries in the future; ‘Eve’ (hulless) and ‘Thoroughbred’ (hulled) ranked among the most FHB resistant genotypes.