Theoretical and Applied Genetics vol:117 issue:5 pages:813-828
Genetic diversity in relation to Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance was investigated among 295 European winter wheat cultivars and advanced breeding lines using 47 wheat SSR markers. Twelve additional wheat lines with known FHB resistance were included as reference material. At least one SSR marker per chromosome arm, including SSR markers reported in the literature with putative associations with QTLs for FHB resistance, were assayed to give an even distribution of SSR markers across the wheat genome. A total of 404 SSR alleles were detected. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 21, with an average of 8.6 alleles. The polymorphism information content of the SSR markers ranged from 0.13 (Xwmc483) to 0.87 (Xwmc607), with an average of 0.54. Cluster analysis was performed by both genetic distance-based and model-based methods. In general, the dendrogram based on unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic averages showed similar groupings to the model-based analysis. Seven clusters were identified by the model-based method, which did not strictly correspond to geographical origin. The FHB resistance level of the wheat lines was evaluated in field trials conducted over multiple years or locations by assessing the following traits: % FHB severity, % FHB incidence, % diseased kernels, in spray inoculation trials, and % FHB spread and % wilted tips, in point inoculation trials. Association analysis between SSR markers and the FHB disease traits detected markers significantly associated with FHB resistance, including some that have not been previously reported. The percentage of variance explained by each individual marker was, however, rather low. Haplotype analysis revealed that the FHB-resistant European wheat lines do not contain the 3BS locus derived from Sumai 3. The information generated in this study will assist in the selection of parental lines in order to increase the efficiency of breeding efforts for FHB resistance.