Infection process of Fusarium graminearum in oats (Avena sativa L.)

Selamawit Tekle, Ruth Dill-Macky, Helge Skinnes, Anne Marte Tronsmo, Åsmund Bjørnstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fusarium head blight in small grain cereals has emerged as a major problem in the Nordic countries. However, the impact of this disease in oats has been less investigated than in other cereals. For this reason we have studied the infection process (the optimal time of infection and infection pathways) of Fusarium graminearum in oats and its subsequent effects on kernel infection, deoxynivalenol (DON) content and germination capacity. In a field experiment the oat cultivar Morton was spray-inoculated at different developmental stages, and the highest kernel infection and DON content and lowest germination percentage were observed when inoculation took place at anthesis. Field grown oats affected by a natural Fusarium head blight epidemic and spray-inoculated field and greenhouse oats were used to study the infection pathway. Results showed that the fungus entered primarily through the floret apex into the floret cavity, where it could infect via the internal surfaces of the palea, lemma and caryopsis. Both visual symptoms and fungal infections started at the apical portions of the florets and progressed to the basal portions. Hyphae of F. graminearum grew more profusely on the anthers than on other floret parts during initial stages of infection. Disease development within the oat panicle was slow and is primarily by physical contact between adjoining florets, indicating that the long pedicels give Type II resistance in oats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-442
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Volume132
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

Keywords

  • Fusarium head blight
  • Infection pathway
  • Time of infection

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