Plant Disease (1999) 83, 954-960

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L.J. Harris, A.E. Desjardins, R.D. Plattner, P. Nicholson, G. Butler, J.C. Young, G. Weston, R.H. Proctor and T.M. Hohn (1999)
Possible role of trichothecene mycotoxins in virulence of Fusarium graminearum on maize
Plant Disease 83 (10), 954-960
Abstract: Trichothecene-producing and -nonproducing Fusarium graminearum strains were tested for their ability to cause Gibberella ear rot in field trials at two locations--Ottawa, Ontario, and Peoria, Illinois--in 1996. Maize ears were inoculated with wild-type or transgenic F. graminearum strains in which the trichothecene biosynthetic pathway had been disabled by the specific disruption of the trichodiene synthase gene and with a derivative revertant strain in which trichothecene production had been restored through recombination. A silk channel inoculation method was employed at both locations. In addition, a kernel puncture inoculation method was used at the Ontario location. Harvested maize ears were analyzed for visual disease severity, grain yield, deoxynivalenol (DON) concentration, and fungal biomass by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or ergosterol quantitation. There was a significant correlation (r = 0.86) between data obtained from the two different methods of quantifying fungal biomass. The trichothecene-nonproducing strains were still pathogenic but appeared less virulent on maize than the trichothecene-producing progenitor and revertant strains, as assayed by most parameters. This suggests that the trichothecenes may act as virulence factors to enhance the spread of F. graminearum on maize.
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Full text of article
Database assignments for author(s): Linda J. Harris, Paul Nicholson, Robert H. Proctor, Ronald Plattner, Anne E. Desjardins

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution
molecular biology - genes


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Fusarium graminearum U.S.A. (mid N)
Fusarium graminearum Maize/corn (Zea mays) Canada (east)