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  • 1 Northwest A&F University, Shaanxi, 712100, PRC
  • | 2 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
  • | 3 Damanhour University, Damanhour, 22516, Egypt
  • | 4 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
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Fusarium head blight (FHB, caused by Fusarium graminearum) is a severe disease which threatens the yield and quality of harvested grain products, and hence causes major economic losses in wheat (Triticum spp.) and other small grain cereals. One of the infection routes for the pathogen is believed to be through the extruded anther. In order to study the role of the anther on FHB infection, FHB resistance was measured among wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars with non-extruded infertile anthers in cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) lines and with extruded fertile anthers in their alloplasmic maintainer lines, and in an unrelated restorer line. We artificially inoculated the lines with F. graminearum (isolate NE 90) at 1.0 × 105 or 2.0 × 105 spores mL−1 for 72 or 96 hours. The results indicated that CMS cultivars were significantly more resistant than the maintainer and restorer cultivars. As the CMS lines differed from the maintainer lines by cytoplasm, anther health, anther extrusion, and seed set, additional experiments are needed to determine the role of each factor in infection. However, this research indicates that fertile anthers most likely are an important part of the infection pathway and of susceptibility to FHB.

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