Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment


Evaluation of inoculation methods for testing Fusarium head blight resistance of winter wheat on single plant basis


Two methods for artificial inoculation of single plants were investigated regarding their reliability in the estimation of Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance of winter wheat. The inoculation methods used were the injection and the cotton method. Head blight was provoked by two Fusarium graminearum and one F culmorum isolate. The test material consisted of nine winter wheat genotypes, which were investigated in their FHB resistance by five European research institutes since 1990. From this international trial a FHB index (%FHB) was evaluated for each genotype. The environmental dimension of this trial was made up of 59 year by isolate by location combinations. Therefore the FHB index represents the best available measure of the resistance level of the nine tested genotypes. The FHB index served as a standard of comparison for the single plant data. The most reliable assessment of the FHB resistance level was reached with the cotton method and an isolate of high virulence. In this case repeatabilities about R= 0.7 were obtained. The best parameters for a reliable assessment of the resistance level were visual scoring of bleached spikelets done on the 18th and/or 22nd day after artificial inoculation and the determination of the systemic growth of the fungus in the ear (rs=0.62-0.65; R=0.66-0.72). The last mentioned parameter, however, is more labor-intensive to determine. Key-words: Fusarium spp., head blight, Triticum aestivum, wheat, inoculation method.