Within-field variability of Fusarium head blight pathogens and their associated mycotoxins

X. M. Xu, D. W. Parry, P. Nicholson, M. A. Thomsett, D. Simpson, S. G. Edwards, B. M. Cooke, F. M. Doohan, S. Monaghan, A. Moretti, G. Tocco, G. Mule, L. Hornok, E. Béki, J. Tatnell, A. Ritieni

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Within-field variability in the Fusarium head blight (FHB) and its associated mycotoxins was studied in four European countries. At each of 14 sites, each FHB pathogen and associated mycotoxins were quantified in 16 quadrat samples at harvest. Overall, the incidence of quadrat samples with detectable and quantifiable pathogen DNA was significantly lower in the grain than in the corresponding chaff. Deoxynivalenol (DON) was the most frequently detected toxin in the samples and its accumulation was most strongly associated with the presence of Fusarium graminearum. Nivalenol (NIV) accumulation was significantly associated only with the presence of F. culmorum. Zearalenone (ZON) accumulation was strongly associated with the presence of all three pathogens (F. graminearum, F. culmorum and F. poae). The levels of both DON and ZON concentrations were positively related to the amount of F. graminearum DNA in the grain or in the chaff. The presence/absence of FHB pathogens within a single quadrat appeared to be independent of each other. The presence of a particular FHB pathogen and the amount of its DNA, as well as the associated mycotoxin(s), varied greatly among samples at each site. This study demonstrated the large extent of within-field variability of FHB and its associated mycotoxins, and the importance of representative sampling in FHB studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Aggregation
  • Chaff
  • DON
  • Flour
  • Fungal DNA
  • NIV
  • Wheat head scab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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    Xu, X. M., Parry, D. W., Nicholson, P., Thomsett, M. A., Simpson, D., Edwards, S. G., Cooke, B. M., Doohan, F. M., Monaghan, S., Moretti, A., Tocco, G., Mule, G., Hornok, L., Béki, E., Tatnell, J., & Ritieni, A. (2008). Within-field variability of Fusarium head blight pathogens and their associated mycotoxins. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 120(1), 21-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-007-9189-6