Fusarium species pathogenic to barley and their associated mycotoxins

B. Salas, B. J. Steffenson, H. H. Casper, B. Tacke, L. K. Prom, T. G. Fetch, P. B. Schwarz

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115 Scopus citations


Epidemics of Fusarium head blight (FHB) occurred on barley in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota from 1993 to 1998. The Red River Valley region was most severely impacted by the disease based on assessments of FHB severity in grain samples harvested from commercial fields. Fusarium graminearum was the primary pathogen causing these FHB epidemics. It comprised from 62 to 64% of all Fusarium species isolated from infected kernels from 1994 to 1996. Fusarium poae (range of isolation 13 to 20%), F. sporotrichioides (10 to 17%), and F. avenaceum (6 to 10%) also were isolated from barley kernels and were likely involved in causing some FHB infection, but to a very limited extent. All four Fusarium species were pathogenic on barley in inoculation tests conducted in both the greenhouse and the field. Mycotoxin screens were performed on barley spikes inoculated with the respective species in the greenhouse. Spikes infected with E graminearum contained deoxynivalenol and 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol; those infected with E sporotrichioides contained T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, and T-2 tetraol; and those infected with F. poae contained nivalenol. Some isolates of F. poae also produced 15-acetoxyscirpenol and scirpentriol. Although F. graminearum and DON are recognized as the primary FHB pathogen and mycotoxin, respectively, in barley, the possible presence of other Fusarium species and mycotoxins should not be overlooked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-674
Number of pages8
JournalPlant disease
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Fusarium head blight
  • Hordeum vulgare


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