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Chlorogenic Acid and Maize Ear Rot Resistance: A Dynamic Study Investigating Fusarium graminearum Development, Deoxynivalenol Production, and Phenolic Acid Accumulation

December 2012 , Volume 25 , Number  12
Pages  1,605 - 1,616

Vessela Atanasova-Penichon,1 Sebastien Pons,1,2,3 Laetitia Pinson-Gadais,1 Adeline Picot,1 Gisèle Marchegay,1 Marie-Noelle Bonnin-Verdal,1 Christine Ducos,1 Christian Barreau,4 Joel Roucolle,2 Pierre Sehabiague,2 Pierre Carolo,3 and Florence Richard-Forget1

1Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UR1264 MycSA, 71 avenue Edouard Bourlaux, 33 883 Villenave d'Ornon, France; 2Monsanto SAS Peyrehorade, Croix de Pardies, 40300 Peyrehorade, France; 3Euralis Semences, 41000 Blois, France; 4Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INRA UR1264 MycSA, France

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Accepted 6 August 2012.

Fusarium graminearum is the causal agent of Gibberella ear rot and produces trichothecene mycotoxins. Basic questions remain unanswered regarding the kernel stages associated with trichothecene biosynthesis and the kernel metabolites potentially involved in the regulation of trichothecene production in planta. In a two-year field study, F. graminearum growth, trichothecene accumulation, and phenolic acid composition were monitored in developing maize kernels of a susceptible and a moderately resistant variety using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array or mass spectrometry detection. Infection started as early as the blister stage and proceeded slowly until the dough stage. Then, a peak of trichothecene accumulation occurred and infection progressed exponentially until the final harvest time. Both F. graminearum growth and trichothecene production were drastically reduced in the moderately resistant variety. We found that chlorogenic acid is more abundant in the moderately resistant variety, with levels spiking in the earliest kernel stages induced by Fusarium infection. This is the first report that precisely describes the kernel stage associated with the initiation of trichothecene production and provides in planta evidence that chlorogenic acid may play a role in maize resistance to Gibberella ear rot and trichothecene accumulation.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2012.