First and second authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108; and second author: USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory, 1551 Lindig Street, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108
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Accepted for publication 23 July 2005.
Fusarium head blight (FHB), or scab, is a destructive disease of small grains caused by members of the Fusarium graminearum species complex, comprised of at least nine distinct, cryptic species. Members of this complex are known to produce mycotoxins including the trichothecenes deoxynivalenol (DON) along with its acetylated derivatives and nivalenol (NIV). In this study, 31 strains, belonging to eight species of this complex and originating from diverse hosts or substrates, were tested for differences in aggressiveness and mycotoxin production. Large variation among strains, both in terms of their aggressiveness and the ability to produce trichothecenes on a susceptible cultivar of wheat was found; variation appears to be a strain-specific rather than species-specific characteristic. While pathogenicity was not influenced by the type of mycotoxin produced, a significant correlation was observed between the amount of the dominant trichothecene (DON and its acetylated forms or NIV) produced by each strain and its level of aggressiveness on wheat. Some isolates also were tested for their ability to infect rice cv. M201, commonly grown in the United States. While tested strains were capable of infecting rice under greenhouse conditions and causing significant amount of disease, no trichothecenes could be detected from the infected rice florets.
The American Phytopathological Society, 2005