Epidemiological and molecular approaches to combat Fusarium-induced diseases of wheat, barley, maize and rice
Fusarium diseases pose a major threat to cereal crops worldwide. Besides limiting yield, diseases caused by several Fusarium spp. produce a range of mycotoxins that are harmful to both animals and humans. In several countries, including Brazil, there are regulations for maximum limits of certain mycotoxins in both grain and byproducts. In small grains, Fusarium head blight is associated with deoxynivalenol and nivalenol mycotoxins found in commercial wheat and barley grain. In maize, Fusarium ear rots are caused by two major species complex - Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium graminearum, that produce fumonisins and trichothecenes, respectively. In rice, Fusarium species are commonly found and some of them are highly toxigenic such as F. graminearum. In our lab, we conduct a long-term research program, initiated in 2006, to elucidate taxonomy and genetic diversity, mycotoxin potential, epidemiology and disease management, especially related to chemical control and fungicide sensitiviy of regional populations.