Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version

March 2006


Published in Plant Disease - March 2006.


Two genes conferring the brown midrib (bmr) trait had been backcrossed into six elite sorghum lines, resulting in reduced lignin in the bmr lines when compared with the wild-type parent. Seed and leaf tissue from field-grown plants, planted at two locations, were screened for Alternariu spp. and Fusarium spp. on semi-selective media. The results suggest that bmr lines do not have increased susceptibility to colonization by Alternariu spp. However, significantly fewer colonies of Fusarium spp., including Fusarium moniliforme, were recovered from seed of reduced lignin lines from two genetic backgrounds. That the bmr trait in some genetic backgrounds might enable increased resistance to colonization by E moniliforme was further supported by greenhouse experiments in which peduncles of developing heads were inoculated with F moniliforme. Mean lesion measurements on bmr lines were significantly lower than those resulting from inoculations on wild-type lines. Analysis of near-isogenic lines revealed that mean lesion lengths on bmr lines were significantly less than those produced on their wild-type counterparts in four of the six genetic backgrounds. These results suggest that reduced lignin lines exhibit, in some cases, increased resistance to Fusarium spp., including E moniliforme.