Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2006
Publication Date: 8/29/2006
Citation: Desjardins, A.E., Maragos, C.M., Proctor, R. 2006. Maize ear rot and moniliformin contamination by cryptic species of Fusarium subglutinans. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 54(19):7383-7390. Interpretive Summary: In three field tests we showed that 37 strains of the fungus Fusarium subglutinans from the United States caused high levels of maize ear rot. Half of the strains contaminated maize grain with high levels of the mycotoxin moniliformin, while half produced little or no moniliformin. These data indicate that moniliformin production is a variable trait in this fungus, but that there is still a significant potential for moniliformin contamination of maize in which this fungus is present. This research has shown that prodcution of mycotoxins of interest are variable in the environment and this information will be of interst to plant pathologists, plant breeders and regulatory officials.
Technical Abstract: Fusarium subglutinans causes maize ear rot and contaminates grain with the mycotoxin moniliformin. Previous DNA sequence analysis divided F. subglutinans from maize into two cryptic species, designated Groups 1 and 2. Here, we determined whether the two groups differ in the agriculturally important traits of virulence on maize and moniliformin production in planta. Thirty seven strains from US maize were assigned to Groups 1 and 2 by DNA sequence analysis. In field tests, all strains were highly virulent on maize inbred B73 and four maize hybrids. In planta, 82% of Group 1 strains and 25% of Group 2 strains produced high levels (100-1500 g/g) of moniliformin. All Group 2 strains from more northern states produced little or no moniliformin (0-5 g/g). These data indicate that moniliformin production is highly variable in F. subglutinans from US maize and that production may not be required for the fungus to cause maize ear rot.