Fusarium head blight occurs in cereals throughout the world and is especially important in humid growing regions. Fusarium head blight (FHB) has re-emerged as a major disease of wheat and barley in the U.S. and Canada since 1993. The primary causal agents of FHB, Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium culmorum, can produce deoxynivalenol (DON), a trichothecene mycotoxin that enhances disease severity and poses a health hazard to humans and monogastric animals. To reduce the effects of DON on wheat, we have introduced FsTRI101, a Fusarium sporotrichioides gene formerly known as TriR, into the regenerable cultivar Bobwhite. TRI101 encodes an enzyme that transfers an acetyl moiety to the C3 hydroxyl group of trichothecenes. Four different transgenic plants carrying the FsTRI101 gene were identified. Although expression levels varied among the four lines, all of them accumulated FsTRI101 transcripts in endosperm and glume. TRI101-encoded acetyltransferase activity was detected in endosperm extracts of a single plant that accumulated FsTRI101 mRNA. Greenhouse resistance tests indicated that the accumulation of FsTRI101-encoded acetyltransferase in this plant confers partial protection against the spread of F. graminearum in inoculated wheat heads (spikes).
- Fusarium head blight