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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF FUSARIUM MYCOTOXINS IN CORN, WHEAT, AND BARLEY Title: The TRI101 story: engineering wheat and barley to resist Fusarium head blight

Author
item Alexander, Nancy

Submitted to: World Mycotoxin Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 2007
Publication Date: February 15, 2008
Citation: Alexander, N.J. 2008. The TRI101 story: engineering wheat and barley to resist Fusarium head blight. World Mycotoxin Journal. 1(1):31-37.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium Head Blight, caused primarily by Fusarium graminearum, is a major disease of wheat and barley in the United States and Canada. Fusarium Head Blight epidemics have been on the increase since 1993, and have caused severe monetary damage for the growers and the seed industry. Along with reduced yields, the presence of mycotoxins in moldy grain constitutes a major problem for the grain industry. This paper reviews the progress that has been made in identifying the factors involved with the production of mycotoxins, and how these mycotoxins are involved in the spread of the disease. Research that involves introducing fungal toxin-modifying genes into small grain crops is also described. The goal of a reduced spread of Fusarium Head Blight has met with success in these modified plants.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), caused primarily by Fusarium graminearum, is a major disease of wheat and barley in the United States and Canada. FHB epidemics have been on the increase since 1993, and have caused severe monetary damage for the growers and the seed industry. Along with reduced yields, the presence of mycotoxins in moldy grain constitutes a major problem for the grain industry. These mycotoxins pose health hazards to humans and animals upon ingestion. The acute phytotoxicity of these mycotoxins, and their occurrence in plant tissues, correlates with their role in pathogenesis and the production of plant disease. Transgenic plants incorporating the Fusarium sporotrichioides Tri101 gene, a gene that reduces toxicity of trichothecenes, has reduced levels of disease, thus demonstrating that FHB severity and deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation can be reduced in small grains by the introduction of a toxin-modification gene.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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