First and fourth authors: Institute of Sugar Beet Research, Holtenser Landstr. 77, 37079 Göttingen, Germany; second and third authors: Division of Plant Pathology and Crop Protection, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen, Grisebachstr. 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
Crop rotations with putative non-host crops such as sugar beet are often recommended to reduce Fusarium head blight (FHB) in cereals. However, recent observations have shown pathogenic, endophytic, and saprotrophic colonization of sugar beet with various Fusarium spp. Therefore, strains of seven species frequently isolated from sugar beet were tested for pathogenicity on wheat. Species-specific symptoms on heads and kernels were evaluated and the grains were analyzed for 20 mycotoxins with liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Fusarium graminearum, F. culmorum, and F. cerealis from sugar beet caused typical FHB symptoms and mycotoxin contamination with deoxynivalenol and nivalenol, while a high incidence of black point was observed in heads inoculated with F. tricinctum or F. equiseti. Black point kernels revealed 3.4 to 14.5 times higher mycotoxin concentrations than symptomless grains, containing enniatin B1 at 38,000 μg/kg, moniliformin at 4,900 μg/kg, and 2-amino-14,16-dimethyloctadecan-3-ol at 5,500 μg/kg, as well as monoacetoxyscirpenol at 2,600 μg/kg and nivalenol at 3,800 μg/kg. Monitoring of these latter two species in the field is hampered by the lack of typical head symptoms after infection. In further experiments, the impact of sugar beet residues on FHB severity and the correlation between mycotoxin contamination of cereal lots and the amount of black point have to be evaluated.