Section 5
Chapter 4,103

Development of PCR assays to Tri7 and Tri13 trichothecene biosynthetic genes, and characterisation of chemotypes of Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum and Fusarium cerealis

Chandler, E.A.; Simpson, D.R.; Thomsett, M.A.; Nicholson, P.

Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 62(6): 355-367


ISSN/ISBN: 0885-5765
DOI: 10.1016/s0885-5765(03)00092-4
Accession: 004102512

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Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum and Fusarium cerealis are major causal agents of Fusarium Head Blight (scab) which is a disease of global significance in all cereal growing areas. These fungi produce trichothecene mycotoxins, principally nivalenol (NIV) and deoxynivalenol (DON). Genes Tri13 and Tri7 from the trichothecene biosynthetic gene cluster convert DON to NIV (Tri13) and NIV to 4-acetyl-NIV (Tri7). We have developed positive-negative PCR assays based on these two genes, which accurately indicate a DON or NIV chemotype in F. graminearum, F. culmorum and F. cerealis. These assays are useful in assessing the risk of trichothecene contamination, and can be informative in epidemiological studies. All NIV chemotype isolates studied have functional copies of both Tri13 and Tri7, and all DON-producing isolates have both genes disrupted or deleted. We have identified several mutations in these genes, which are conserved across F. graminearum lineage, RAPD and SCAR groupings and between the three species. There appears to be evidence of inter-species hybridisation within the trichothecene biosynthetic gene cluster.

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