Fusarium graminearum, a fungal pathogen of wheat, barley, and corn, produces a variety of trichothecene mycotoxins that are important as virulence factors and as seed contaminants reducing grain quality. A previous survey of the pathogen in New York State identified variation in genes indicative of trichothecene diversity. Recently F. graminearum strains that produce a newly characterized trichothecene mycotoxin called NX-2 have been identified in North America. Using a large collection of F. graminearum strains from Willsboro NY, we found that the frequency of NX-2 genotype strains was 7–14 times higher than at other locations where it was reported previously. NX-2 genotypes were not only found in wheat heads but also found in high frequency from air samples and on maize ears and stubble. Because NX-2 genotypes may represent as much as 20% of the total F. graminearum population, this regional fungal population provides an opportunity to assess the effects of the novel NX-2 trichothecene on fungal virulence, toxin loading, and patterns of host specificity that could inform future disease management and plant breeding.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
nical support. This study was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, National Program for Plant Disease and by the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture - Cornell University Hatch Project NYC1537436. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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- Fusarium graminearum
- Fusarium head blight