New method to speed Fusarium resistance screening
Near infrared light (NIR) can be used to evaluate resistance to Fusarium head blight ( Fusarium graminearum) in wheat, says the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (Manhattan, Kansas). Researchers have developed an improved technique using infrared spectroscopy in which individual grains can be screened for blight resistance. The method utilises the characteristic differences in NIR absorption spectra between damaged and undamaged grains caused by the presence of the mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol, produced by the fungus. The researchers note that the ability to detect the fungus and deoxynivalenol using rapid and non-destructive techniques will aid plant breeders by speeding up screening and evaluation of new wheat lines for F graminearum resistance. Study details were published in the US Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy.