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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Cereal Disease Lab » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364870

Research Project: Fusarium Head Blight of Cereals: Pathogen Biology, Associated Phytobiome, and Host Resistance

Location: Cereal Disease Lab

Title: Fusarium graminearum trichothecene mycotoxins: Biosynthesis, regulation and management

item CHEN, YUN - Zhejiang University
item Kistler, Harold
item MA, ZHONGHUA - Zhejiang University

Submitted to: Annual Review of Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2019
Publication Date: 3/20/2019
Citation: Chen, Y., Kistler, H.C., Ma, Z. 2019. Fusarium graminearum trichothecene mycotoxins: Biosynthesis, regulation and management. Annual Review of Phytopathology.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium head blight (FHB) of small grain cereals is an economically important plant disease worldwide. Control of the disease and mycotoxin caused by FHB in farmer's fields is still problematic. Ultimately, control of FHB will be possible only through integration of disease resistance breeding, chemical and biological controls, and optimal agronomic practices. Generation of resistant varieties remains the best way to reduce field disease levels. Nevertheless, through the effort of several decades, it is clear that the development of completely resistant lines remains elusive. Current fungicide use is complicated by the fact that they are effective only during a narrow time during wheat flowering. In addition, chemical control faces a major problem due to the development of fungicide resistance. Applying ineffective doses of some fungicides may trigger fungi to produce more trichothecene mycotoxins. Commercialization of biological control agents may increase the options available for integrated management of FHB. The challenge however lies in devising practical control methods that can deliver potent formulations combining high efficacy, long shelf-life, and easy application. Therefore, considerable effort is needed to improve on current approaches for more effective management of FHB and mycotoxins.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium head blight (FHB) of small grain cereals caused by Fusarium graminearum and other Fusarium species is an economically important plant disease worldwide. Fusarium infections not only result in severe yield losses, but also contaminate grain with various mycotoxins, especially deoxynivalenol (DON). During the past two decades, with the complete genome sequencing of F. graminearum, tremendous progress has been made in understanding the basis for DON biosynthesis and its regulation. Here, we summarize current understanding of DON biosynthesis and the effect of regulators, signal transduction pathways, and epigenetic modifications on the expression of biosynthetic TRI genes and on DON production. In addition, strategies for controlling FHB and DON contamination are reviewed. Further studies on these biosynthetic and regulatory systems will provide useful knowledge in developing novel management strategies to prevent FHB incidence and mycotoxin accumulation in cereals.