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Quantitative resistance in barley to four Fusarium head blight (FHB) species was investigated in vitro. Nine components involved in three assays (detached leaf, modified Petridish and seedling tests) were compared on two widely grown Syrian barley cultivars: Arabi Aswad (AS) and Arabi Abiad (AB). On AB, inoculation with FHB species resulted in a significantly shorter latent period and larger lesion length of detached leaf inoculation, more standardized area under disease progress curve (AUDPCstandard) of modified Petridish inoculation and a higher percentage of infected seedlings of pin-point inoculation than on AS. The latent period of AB was 14.89% less than AS, lesion length of AS was 6.01% less than AB, AUDPCstandard of AS was 17.07% less than AB and the percentage of infected seedlings of AS was 4.87% less than AB. Inoculation with FHB species resulted in no significant differences in the other five components measured: incubation period of detached leaf inoculation, germination rate reduction and coleoptile length reduction of modified Petridish inoculation, percentage of infected seedlings of foliar-spraying inoculation and lesion length of clip-dipping inoculation. AS was more resistant to in vitro FHB infection than AB. The latent period and AUDPCstandard recorded the highest values compared with the lowest values for lesion length and percentage of infected seedlings. It seems that measurement of the latent period and AUDPCstandard may be useful in identifying barley cultivars which are highly susceptible or resistant to FHB at early stages.
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