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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mycotoxins from Fungal Infected Sorghum: Claviceps Versus Fusarium and the Striga Connection

Authors
item Porter, James
item Bacon, Charles
item Norred, William
item Wray, Emma
item Kuldau, G - PLANT PATH/PENN STATE U
item Glenn, A - PLANT PATH/UGA, ATHENS
item Leslie, J - PLANT PATH/KSU, MANHATTAN

Submitted to: International Global Sorghum and Pearl Millet Diseases Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 31, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Claviceps and Fusarium species are two ubiquitous fungi that not only threaten sorghum production and the industry worldwide, but also produce mycotoxins that pose health concerns for livestock and humans. Sorghum production is also impacted by a parasitic angiosperm known as Striga or Witchweed. Primary defenses against these problems depend on understanding the ecology of host- pathogen interactions, the requirements for mycotoxin production by Claviceps and Fusarium, and the mycotoxins' health effects on livestock, poultry and humans. Some Claviceps species are reported as mycoparasites on Fusarium and suggested as a bio- control against Fusarium infection. Then too, some Fusarium mycotoxins (i.e., fusaric acid) have been suggested as natural bio-control agents against Striga infestation of sorghum. Because of the endophytic association between Fusarium and its plant host, a priori, there may be a unique, but complex ecological association among certain Claviceps, Fusarium, and Striga. In this report, the significance and toxicology of the mycotoxins from Claviceps and Fusarium infected sorghum are reviewed with links to controls of Striga.

Technical Abstract: Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is one of the most important worldwide cereal and forage crops, but both pathogenic and parasitic fungi and parasitic plants have devastating economic effects on production. Claviceps and Fusarium species are two important fungi that not only threaten sorghum yield, but also produce mycotoxins that pose health concerns for livestock and humans. Sorghum production is also impacted by a parasitic angiosperm known as Striga or Witchweed. The primary defenses against these problems depend on understanding the ecology of host-pathogen interactions, and with regards to Claviceps and Fusarium, another important defense depends on understanding their requirements for mycotoxin production and their effects on livestock, poultry and humans. In this report, the significance of the mycotoxins from Claviceps and Fusarium infected sorghum are reviewed with links to controls of Striga.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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