© 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Based on visual assessment of disease severity, previous studies reported that tall genotypes tend to be more severely affected by Fusarium crown rot (FCR) in wheat and barley. To clarify whether tall and dwarf genotypes have different susceptibility to FCR or whether it takes longer for Fusarium pathogens to infect dwarf genotypes, histological analyses were conducted with two pairs of near isogenic lines (NILs) for a semi-dwarfing gene in barley. This analysis showed that F. pseudograminearum hyphae were detected earlier and proliferated more rapidly during the time-course of FCR development in the tall isolines. Histological analysis showed that cell densities of the dwarf isolines were significantly higher than those of the tall isolines due to reduced lengths and widths of cells, and FCR severity was strongly correlated with cell density. An analysis with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction detected a higher amount of F. pseudograminearum in the tall isolines at each of the time points assessed during FCR development. These results support the hypothesis that the increased cell density associated with dwarf genes could act as a physical barrier to the spread of FCR in cereals.