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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OBJECTIVE GRADING AND END-USE PROPERTY ASSESSMENT OF SINGLE KERNELS AND BULK GRAIN SAMPLES

Location: Engineering and Wind Erosion Research Unit

Title: Fusarium head blight symptoms and mycotoxin levels in single kernels of infected wheat spikes

Authors
item Peiris, K.H.S. -
item Pumphrey, Michael
item Dong, Y. -
item Dowell, Floyd

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 23, 2011
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Repository URL: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/49810/PDF
Citation: Peiris, K., Pumphrey, M.O., Dong, Y., Dowell, F.E. 2011. Fusarium head blight symptoms and mycotoxin levels in single kernels of infected wheat spikes. Cereal Chemistry. 88(3):291-295.

Interpretive Summary: The study of how the Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease spreads and manifests disease symptoms and mycotoxins in infected grains in spikelets along the spikes among wheat varieties is important to understand the FHB resistance of different wheat varieties. Two wheat varieties with different FHB resistance levels (Susceptible and moderately resistant to FHB) were grown in a greenhouse and a floret in a central spikelet of spikes were artificially inoculated with spores of Fusarium graminearum, the predominant fungus causing the FHB in wheat. The FHB symptoms of the kernels were assessed and levels of two mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol and 15-O-acetyl-deoxynivalenol, were measured after harvesting the fully mature spikes. The two varieties behaved differently in terms of the distribution of FHB symptoms and mycotoxin levels. The moderately resistant variety had comparatively lower mycotoxin levels in infected kernels than that of the kernels of the susceptible variety. Moreover, in the susceptible variety mycotoxins were detected in kernels in spikelets above and below the inoculated spikelet, while in the moderately resistance variety mycotoxins were found mostly in the kernels in spikelets below the inoculated spikelet. This study also revealed the presence of both symptomatic kernels with non-detectable levels of mycotoxins and asymptomatic kernels with significant mycotoxin levels in FHB infected wheat spikes. Similar single kernel analysis of FHB symptoms and mycotoxin levels in kernels along spikes may provide plant breeders more information about the FHB resistance of the germplasm being tested and consequently enhance the efficiency of FHB resistance breeding programs.

Technical Abstract: The study of how the Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease spreads and manifests disease symptoms and mycotoxins in infected grains in spikelets along the spikes among wheat varieties is important to understand the FHB resistance of different wheat varieties. Two wheat varieties with different FHB resistance levels (Susceptible and moderately resistant to FHB) were grown in a greenhouse and a floret in a central spikelet of spikes were artificially inoculated with spores of Fusarium graminearum, the predominant fungus causing the FHB in wheat. The FHB symptoms of the kernels were assessed and levels of two mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol and 15-O-acetyl-deoxynivalenol, were measured after harvesting the fully mature spikes. The two varieties behaved differently in terms of the distribution of FHB symptoms and mycotoxin levels. The moderately resistant variety had comparatively lower mycotoxin levels in infected kernels than that of the kernels of the susceptible variety. Moreover, in the susceptible variety mycotoxins were detected in kernels in spikelets above and below the inoculated spikelet, while in the moderately resistance variety mycotoxins were found mostly in the kernels in spikelets below the inoculated spikelet. This study also revealed the presence of both symptomatic kernels with non-detectable levels of mycotoxins and asymptomatic kernels with significant mycotoxin levels in FHB infected wheat spikes. Similar single kernel analysis of FHB symptoms and mycotoxin levels in kernels along spikes may provide plant breeders more information about the FHB resistance of the germplasm being tested and consequently enhance the efficiency of FHB resistance breeding programs.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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