Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2004
Publication Date: 10/15/2004
Citation: O Donnell, K., Geiser, D.M., Aoki, T. 2004. Species recognition and identification of agriculturally important Fusaria: Current status and future prospects. Proceedings for the 10th International Congress for Culture Collections (ICCC-10), October 10-15, 2004, Tsukuba, Japan. p. 233-238.
Technical Abstract: Fusarium is a large genus of filamentous fungi that represents the single most important group of mycotoxigenic plant pathogens. Fusaria have also emerged within the past two decades as opportunistic and often fatal pathogens of severely immuno-compromised patients. Members of this genus produce an amazing diversity of toxic secondary metabolites such as trichothecenes, fumonisins and estrogenic compounds which pose a serious threat to human and plant health and food safety. In order to develop molecular epidemiological tools for the rapid detection and identification of the most important fusarial pathogens, multilocus sequence typing is being used to investigate species boundaries. Knowledge of species limits is essential for understanding each pathogen's geographic distribution, host range and toxin potential, and to establish successful molecular surveillance programs for economically devastating plant diseases such as Fusarium Head Blight of small grain cereals. Because globalization of trade in agricultural commodities will continue to result in the inadvertent movement of foreign fusarial pathogens worldwide, a global network of plant disease specialists is needed to meet this continuing threat.