Protection of wheat from Fusarium ear blight disease

K. Hammond-Kosack, M. Urban, A. Daudi, T. Baldwin and D. Kornyukhin
Wheat Pathogenesis, Plant Pathogen Interactions Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2QJ, UK

In the UK and NW Europe, an increased risk of Fusarium ear blight disease on small grain cereals now exists. Three species predominate, F. graminearum, F. culmorum and F. poae Infections at anthesis, not only lower grain quality but also lower grain safety because these Fusarium species produce a range of trichothecene mycotoxins post-infection. Two main types of natural resistance exist in wheat. Type 1 resistance reduces initial infection incidence. Type 2 reduces the rate of hyphal spread within the ear tissue.
The objectives of our molecular genetics and bioinformatic research approach are (1) to understand the mechanistic basis of type 1 and type 2 resistance; (2) to identify resistant wheat genotypes that permit negligible / no DON accumulation in the harvested grain; (3) to identify the fusarium genes required to cause disease and (4) to identify the fusarium and plant genes required for mycotoxin induction and accumulation.
Our research is sponsored by the BBSRC, Defra, Monsanto and Syngenta .
Recent publications
Urban et al.,(2003) Molecular Plant Pathology 4 : 347-360
Hammond-Kosack and Parker (2003) Current Opinions in Biotechnology 14: 177-193.
Urban et al., (2002) Plant Journal 32: 961-973.

Copyright Cirad 2004 - Contact : Cathy Lyonnet