Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/16/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: As reflected by their prominence in Phytopathology and Plant Disease, fusaria collectively represent the most important genus of plant pathogenic and mycotoxigenic fungi. Plant pathologists who encounter these pathogens have had to rely on cultural characteristics and microscopic morphology for their identification. This is no easy task given the paucity and plasticity of phenotypic traits. To address this problem, we are developing electronically portable molecular systematic tools for the rapid and accurate identification of all fusaria. These data allow the identification of strains to known taxa and also assist in the identification of new taxa. Specific examples of how these tools have advanced our knowledge of the evolution, biogeography and species boundaries of several of the most important plant pathogenic and toxigenic lineages within Fusarium, including F. graminearum scab of wheat, will be discussed. These molecular databases will be freely accessible to the scientific community via the Internet.