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Fusarium pseudograminearum is one of the important crown rot agents that reduces the quality and quantity of wheat plants. The pathogen is common in the world and 10–35% yield losses due to disease have been reported. Identifying resistant durum wheat genotypes is the best approach to control the disease due to the limited control options available. Currently, there are only a few genotypes available with partial resistance to Fusarium crown rot globally. In this study, a total of 199 durum wheat genotypes provided by the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico, and five control genotypes were tested for their resistance reactions to F. pseudograminearum under both growth room and greenhouse conditions. Out of the 199 genotypes tested under growth room conditions; 15, 20, 134 and 30 genotypes exhibited resistant, moderately resistant, moderately susceptible and susceptible reactions, respectively. Under greenhouse conditions; 19, 16, 121 and 43 genotypes were found resistant, moderately resistant, moderately susceptible and susceptible, respectively. Two durum wheat genotypes (# 84 and # 197, CIMMYT genotype numbers 7409071 and 7410562) showed seedling and adult plant resistance to F. pseudograminearum. The newly identified resistant genotypes for crown rot caused by F. pseudograminearum seem promising for breeding programmes, especially these two lines which showed resistance at both seedling and adult plant stages.
Development of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) synthetics started at CIMMYT-Mexico in 2004, when winter durum wheat (Triticum turgidum) germplasm from Ukraine and Romania was crossed with Aegilops tauschii accessions from the Caspian Sea region. Chromosomes were doubled after pollination and embryo rescue, but chromosome number and cytological validation was not performed. F2 populations were grown in Mexico and were shipped to Turkey in 2008. During 2009–2015, these populations were subjected to rigorous pedigree selection under dry, cold, disease-affected environments of the Central Anatolian Plateau. The wide segregation and partial sterility observed in 2009 gradually decreased and, by 2016, most of the F8 single spike progenies demonstrated good fertility and agronomic performance. Since 2013, lines have been selected from synthetic populations and evaluated at multiple sites. Superior lines were characterized for resistance to leaf, stripe and stem rust, plant height, and reaction to common bunt and soil-borne pathogens. Thousand kernel weight of many lines exceeded 50 g, compared with the check varieties that barely reached 40 g. Threshability of synthetic lines varied from 0 to 95%, demonstrating genetic variation for this important domestication trait. Screening against Hessian fly, sunny pest and Russian wheat aphid identified several resistant genotypes. Both durum and Aegilops parents affected synthetic wheat traits. Several studies are underway to reveal the genetic diversity of synthetic lines and the basis of resistance to diseases and insects. This synthetic germplasm represents a new winter bread wheat parental pool. It is available upon request to interested breeding/research programmes.
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