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Quantification of trichothecene-producing Fusarium species in harvested grain by competitive PCR to determine efficacies of fungicides against fusarium head blight of winter wheat

A report of the development of PCR-based assays which was used to test fungicide efficiency and will aid research on the reduction of trichothecene mycotoxins in food and animal feed.

Year of Publication2001

We developed a PCR-based assay to quantify trichothecene-producing Fusarium based on primers derived from the trichodiene synthase gene (Tri5). The primers were tested against a range of fusarium head blight (FHB) (also known as scab) pathogens and found to amplify specifically a 260-bp product from 25 isolates belonging to six trichothecene-producing Fusarium species. Amounts of the trichothecene-producing Fusarium and the trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) in harvested grain from a field trial designed to test the efficacies of the fungicides metconazole, azoxystrobin, and tebuconazole to control FHB were quantified. No correlation was found between FHB severity and DON in harvested grain, but a good correlation existed between the amount of trichothecene-producing Fusarium and DON present within grain. Azoxystrobin did not affect levels of trichothecene-producing Fusarium compared with those of untreated controls. Metconazole and tebuconazole significantly reduced the amount of trichothecene-producing Fusarium in harvested grain. We hypothesize that the fungicides affected the relationship between FHB severity and the amount of DON in harvested grain by altering the proportion of trichothecene-producing Fusarium within the FHB disease complex and not by altering the rate of DON production. The Tri5 quantitative PCR assay will aid research directed towards reducing amounts of trichothecene mycotoxins in food and animal feed.

Citation

Edwards, S G; Pirgozliev, S R; Hare, M C; Jenkinson, P (2001) "Quantification of trichothecene-producing Fusarium species in harvested grain by competitive PCR to determine efficacies of fungicides against fusarium head blight of winter wheat"Applied and Environmental Microbiology 67 (4) pp 1575-1580

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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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