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Ecology and Epidemiology

Environmental Conditions After Fusarium Head Blight Visual Symptom Development Affect Contamination of Wheat Grain with Deoxynivalenol and Deoxynivalenol-3-Glucoside

    Authors and Affiliations
    • Wanderson Bucker Moraes1
    • Laurence V. Madden1
    • Byung-Kee Baik2
    • James Gillespie3
    • Pierce A. Paul1
    1. 1Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, OH 44691
    2. 2USDA-ARS-CSWQRU, Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory, Wooster, OH 44691
    3. 3Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108

    Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat, caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum, is associated with grain contamination with mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). Although FHB is often positively correlated with DON, this relationship can break down under certain conditions. One possible explanation for this could be the conversion of DON to DON-3-glucoside (D3G), which is typically missed by common DON testing methods. The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of temperature, relative humidity (RH), and preharvest rainfall on DON, D3G, and the D3D/DON relationship. D3G levels were higher in grain from spikes exposed to 100% RH than to 70, 80, or 90% RH at 20 and 25°C across all tested levels of mean FHB index (percentage of diseased spikelets per spike). Mean D3G contamination was higher at 20°C than at 25 or 30°C. There were significantly positive linear relationships between DON and D3G. Rainfall treatments resulted in significantly higher mean D3G than the rain-free check and induced preharvest sprouting, as indicated by low falling numbers (FNs). There were significant positive relationships between the rate of increase in D3G per unit increase in DON (a measure of conversion) and sprouting. As FN decreased, the rate of D3G conversion increased, and this rate of conversion per unit decrease in FN was greater at relatively low than at high mean DON levels. These results provide strong evidence that moisture after FHB visual symptom development was associated with DON-to-D3G conversion and constitute valuable new information for understanding this complex disease-mycotoxin system.

    Literature Cited