North Dakota State University USA
Xiwen Cai is currently working as a professor at the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University, North Dakota. His current research is on genomics-enabled chromosome engineering. He has completed his Ph.D. in Crop genetics at Washing State University.
Hexaploid-derived resistance genes exhibit complex inheritance and expression patterns in tetraploid backgrounds. This study aimed to characterize the inheritance patterns and genomic compatibilities of hexaploid-derived Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance genes in tetraploid durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.). Evaluation of FHB resistance for F1 hybrids of hexaploid ‘Sumai 3’ crossed with tetraploid and hexaploid wheat indicated that Sumai 3-derived FHB resistance genes exhibit a dominant phenotypic effect seen only in hexaploid hybrids. Alternately, the hexaploid-derived FHB resistance genes from PI 277012 exhibited complete dominance in the crosses with both tetraploid and hexaploid wheat. FHB evaluation of the F1 hybrids of Sumai 3 and PI 277012 crossed with ‘Langdon’ (LDN)– ‘Chinese Spring’ D-genome substitution lines suggested that chromosomes 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 3A, 4A, 6A, and 7A contain genes that suppress the expression of the Sumai 3-derived FHB resistance, whereas chromosomes 4A, 6A, and 6B contain genes required for expression of PI 277012-derived FHB resistance. A wide range of segregation for FHB severity (10–90%) was observed in the F2 generation of Sumai 3 crossed with durum cultivars LDN and ‘Divide’, but the distribution of F3 families derived from the most resistant F2 segregants was skewed towards susceptibility. Similar segregation trends were observed in the crosses of PI 277012 with other durum wheat, whereby FHB resistance became slightly diluted over successive generations. These results suggest tetraploid durum wheat contains the unique alleles at multiple gene loci on different chromosomes that positively and/or negatively regulate the expression of hexaploid-derived FHB resistance genes, which complicate efforts to deploy these genes in durum breeding programs.