Development of Fusarium langsethiae in commercial cereal production
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A field survey was performed to study the infection and development of Fusarium langsethiae in the growing season of wheat, barley, oats and triticale under commercial (2009 – 2011) production. Sampling was completed over three years from fields within the counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire in the UK. Plants sampled (from tillering to harvest) were divided into roots, leaves, lower stem, upper stem and inflorescence/head sub-samples depending on the growth stage of the cereal. DNA was extracted and F. langsethiae DNA quantified using real-time PCR. Fusarium mycotoxins HT-2 and T-2 were quantified from head samples at harvest. Three years of data showed oat to contain the highest levels of both F. langsethiae biomass and HT-2 + T-2 mycotoxins in harvested heads of the cereals studied. The development of F. langsethiae in all three cereals appeared to be similar. Fusarium langsethiae DNA was not detected in the roots and seedlings of all three cereals suggesting F. langsethiae is not a seedling pathogen of cereals. Head infection if it occurs, is at head emergence but before flowering. Seemingly symptomless heads had high levels of F. langsethiae DNA and HT-2 + T-2, confirming previous suggestions that F. langsethiae is a symptomless pathogen of oats.
KeywordsField survey Head blight Head infection Real-time PCR Symptomless infection
The first author acknowledges funding of a PhD studentship from HGCA-AHDB and Harper Adams University.
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