Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 December 2021) | Viewed by 29600

Special Issue Editor

Department of Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: plant–pathogen interactions; biocontrol; endophytic fungi; green leaf volatiles (GLVs); biogenic volatile compounds (BVOCs); plant defense priming; plant hormones; phenomics; genome-editing in fungi; plant defense pathways; biodegradation of mycotoxins; mycotoxin prediction and modelling; bioassays to assess toxicity of trichothecenes and their derivatives
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The 15th European Fusarium Seminar, organized by Ghent University, will be held online from May 31 to June 1, 2021.

Fusarium is one of the most important plant pathogenic fungal genera. Economic losses both in monocots and eudicots are due to direct yield losses as well as due to the presence of toxic metabolites called mycotoxins that are produced by many species within the Fusarium genus. The challenges in Fusarium research are still enormous due to the frequency, complexity and variability in the occurrence of this pathogen.

We would like to welcome you to the 15th edition of the European Fusarium Seminar. The program includes oral and poster presentations on topics that provide new insights into the different Fusarium research fields: Fusarium–Host Interactions, Integrated and Innovative Fusarium Management, Secondary Metabolites, Non-Cereal Plant Fusarium Interactions, Population Genetics and New Technologies. 

The Symposium welcomes participants from industry, government, as well as academia. Only through our multidisciplinary efforts and concerted actions, can we further progress and expect solutions in the Fusarium research field. This Special Issue aims to bring together active researchers to present their current work. For additional information on the Seminar which you may find useful, please follow: http://en.mytox.be/conferences/

Prof. Dr. Kris Audenaert
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Fusarium population genetics
  • mitigation strategies
  • new technologies
  • plant–host interactions
  • Fusarium interacting with non-cereal hosts

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 2430 KiB  
Article
Different Resistance to DON versus HT2 + T2 Producers in Nordic Oat Varieties
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050313 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2494
Abstract
Over recent decades, the Norwegian cereal industry has had major practical and financial challenges associated with the occurrence of Fusarium head blight (FHB) pathogens and their associated mycotoxins in cereal grains. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most common Fusarium-mycotoxins in Norwegian [...] Read more.
Over recent decades, the Norwegian cereal industry has had major practical and financial challenges associated with the occurrence of Fusarium head blight (FHB) pathogens and their associated mycotoxins in cereal grains. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most common Fusarium-mycotoxins in Norwegian oats, however T-2 toxin (T2) and HT-2 toxin (HT2) are also commonly detected. The aim of our study was to rank Nordic spring oat varieties and breeding lines by content of the most commonly occurring Fusarium mycotoxins (DON and HT2 + T2) as well as by the DNA content of their respective producers. We analyzed the content of mycotoxins and DNA of seven fungal species belonging to the FHB disease complex in grains of Nordic oat varieties and breeding lines harvested from oat field trials located in the main cereal cultivating district in South-East Norway in the years 2011–2020. Oat grains harvested from varieties with a high FHB resistance contained on average half the levels of mycotoxins compared with the most susceptible varieties, which implies that choice of variety may indeed impact on mycotoxin risk. The ranking of oat varieties according to HT2 + T2 levels corresponded with the ranking according to the DNA levels of Fusarium langsethiae, but differed from the ranking according to DON and Fusarium graminearum DNA. Separate tests are therefore necessary to determine the resistance towards HT2 + T2 and DON producers in oats. This creates practical challenges for the screening of FHB resistance in oats as today’s screening focuses on resistance to F. graminearum and DON. We identified oat varieties with generally low levels of both mycotoxins and FHB pathogens which should be preferred to mitigate mycotoxin risk in Norwegian oats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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22 pages, 19700 KiB  
Article
A Novel In Planta Enrichment Method Employing Fusarium graminearum-Infected Wheat Spikes to Select for Competitive Biocontrol Bacteria
Toxins 2022, 14(3), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14030222 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2852
Abstract
This work introduces an alternative workflow for the discovery of novel bacterial biocontrol agents in wheat against Fusarium head blight (FHB). Unlike the mass testing of isolate collections, we started from a diverse inoculum by extracting microbiomes from ears of field-grown plants at [...] Read more.
This work introduces an alternative workflow for the discovery of novel bacterial biocontrol agents in wheat against Fusarium head blight (FHB). Unlike the mass testing of isolate collections, we started from a diverse inoculum by extracting microbiomes from ears of field-grown plants at grain filling stage. Four distinct microbial communities were generated which were exposed to 3 14-day culture-independent experimental enrichments on detached wheat spikes infected with F. graminearum PH1. We found that one bacterial community reduced infection symptoms after 3 cycles, which was chosen to subsequently isolate bacteria through limiting dilution. All 94 isolates were tested in an in vitro and in planta assay, and a selection of 14 isolates was further tested on detached ears. The results seem to indicate that our enrichment approach resulted in bacteria with different modes-of-action in regard to FHB control. Erwinia persicina isolate C3 showed a significant reduction in disease severity (Fv/Fm), and Erwinia persicina C3 and Pseudomonas sp. B3 showed a significant reduction in fungal biomass (cGFP). However, the mycotoxin analysis of both these treatments showed no reduction in DON levels. Nevertheless, Pantoea ananatis H3 and H11 and Erwinia persicina H2 were able to reduce DON concentrations by more than 50%, although these effects were not statistically significant. Lastly, Erwinia persicina H2 also showed a significantly greater glucosylation of DON to the less phytotoxic DON-3G. The bacterial genera isolated through the enrichment cycles have been reported to dominate microbial communities that develop in open habitats, showing strong indications that the isolated bacteria can reduce the infection pressure of F. graminearum on the spike phyllosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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25 pages, 3961 KiB  
Article
Host Genotype and Weather Effects on Fusarium Head Blight Severity and Mycotoxin Load in Spring Barley
Toxins 2022, 14(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14020125 - 08 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
Epidemiology of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) of spring barley is relatively little understood. In a five-year study, we assessed quantitative resistance to FHB in an assortment of 17 spring barley genotypes in the field in southern Germany. To this end, we used soil [...] Read more.
Epidemiology of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) of spring barley is relatively little understood. In a five-year study, we assessed quantitative resistance to FHB in an assortment of 17 spring barley genotypes in the field in southern Germany. To this end, we used soil and spray inoculation of plants with F. culmorum and F. avenaceum. This increased disease pressure and provoked genotypic differentiation. To normalize effects of variable weather conditions across consecutive seasons, we used a disease ranking of the genotypes based on quantification of fungal DNA contents and multiple Fusarium toxins in harvested grain. Together, this allowed for assessment of stable quantitative FHB resistance of barley in several genotypes. Fungal DNA contents were positively associated with species-specific Fusarium toxins in single years and over several years in plots with soil inoculation. In those plots, plant height limited FHB; however, this was not observed after spray inoculation. A multiple linear regression model of recorded weather parameter and fungal DNA contents over five years identified time periods during the reproductive phase of barley, in which weather strongly influenced fungal colonization measured in mature barley grain. Environmental conditions before heading and late after anthesis showed strongest associations with F. culmorum DNA in all genotypes, whereas for F. avenaceum, this was less consistent where we observed weather-dependent associations, depending on the genotype. Based on this study, we discuss aspects of practical resistance breeding in barley relevant to improve quantitative resistance to FHB and associated mycotoxin contaminations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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16 pages, 3865 KiB  
Article
Taqman qPCR Quantification and Fusarium Community Analysis to Evaluate Toxigenic Fungi in Cereals
Toxins 2022, 14(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14010045 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2510
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an economically important plant disease. Some Fusarium species produce mycotoxins that cause food safety concerns for both humans and animals. One especially important mycotoxin-producing fungus causing FHB is Fusarium graminearum. However, Fusarium species form a disease complex [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an economically important plant disease. Some Fusarium species produce mycotoxins that cause food safety concerns for both humans and animals. One especially important mycotoxin-producing fungus causing FHB is Fusarium graminearum. However, Fusarium species form a disease complex where different Fusarium species co-occur in the infected cereals. Effective management strategies for FHB are needed. Development of the management tools requires information about the diversity and abundance of the whole Fusarium community. Molecular quantification assays for detecting individual Fusarium species and subgroups exist, but a method for the detection and quantification of the whole Fusarium group is still lacking. In this study, a new TaqMan-based qPCR method (FusE) targeting the Fusarium-specific elongation factor region (EF1α) was developed for the detection and quantification of Fusarium spp. The FusE method was proven as a sensitive method with a detection limit of 1 pg of Fusarium DNA. Fusarium abundance results from oat samples correlated significantly with deoxynivalenol (DON) toxin content. In addition, the whole Fusarium community in Finnish oat samples was characterized with a new metabarcoding method. A shift from F. culmorum to F. graminearum in FHB-infected oats has been detected in Europe, and the results of this study confirm that. These new molecular methods can be applied in the assessment of the Fusarium community and mycotoxin risk in cereals. Knowledge gained from the Fusarium community analyses can be applied in developing and selecting effective management strategies for FHB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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9 pages, 607 KiB  
Article
Pydiflumetofen Co-Formulated with Prothioconazole: A Novel Fungicide for Fusarium Head Blight and Deoxynivalenol Control
Toxins 2022, 14(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14010034 - 03 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2204
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an important disease of small grain cereals worldwide, resulting in reduced yield and quality as well as the contamination of harvested grains with mycotoxins. The key mycotoxin of concern is deoxynivalenol (DON), which has legislative and advisory limits [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an important disease of small grain cereals worldwide, resulting in reduced yield and quality as well as the contamination of harvested grains with mycotoxins. The key mycotoxin of concern is deoxynivalenol (DON), which has legislative and advisory limits in numerous countries. Cereal growers have a number of control options for FHB including rotation, cultivation, and varietal resistance; however, growers are still reliant on fungicides applied at flowering as part of an IPM program. Fungicides currently available to control FHB are largely restricted to triazole chemistry. This study conducted three field experiments to compare a new co-formulation of pydiflumetofen (a succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) with the tradename ADEPIDYN) and prothioconazole (a triazole) against current standard fungicides at various timings (flag leaf fully emerged, mid-head emergence, early flowering, and late flowering) for the control of FHB and DON. Overall, the co-formulation showed greater efficacy compared to either pydiflumetofen alone or current fungicide chemistry. This greater activity was demonstrated over a wide range of spray timings (flag leaf fully emerged to late flowering). The availability of an SDHI with good activity against FHB and the resulting DON contamination of harvested grain will give growers an additional tool within an IPM program that will provide a greater flexibility of spray application windows and reduce fungicide resistance selection pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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14 pages, 1984 KiB  
Article
Naturally Occurring Fusarium Species and Mycotoxins in Oat Grains from Manitoba, Canada
Toxins 2021, 13(9), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13090670 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4254
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) can lead to dramatic yield losses and mycotoxin contamination in small grain cereals in Canada. To assess the extent and severity of FHB in oat, samples collected from 168 commercial oat fields in the province of Manitoba, Canada, during [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) can lead to dramatic yield losses and mycotoxin contamination in small grain cereals in Canada. To assess the extent and severity of FHB in oat, samples collected from 168 commercial oat fields in the province of Manitoba, Canada, during 2016–2018 were analyzed for the occurrence of Fusarium head blight and associated mycotoxins. Through morphological and molecular analysis, F. poae was found to be the predominant Fusarium species affecting oat, followed by F. graminearum, F. sporotrichioides, F. avenaceum, and F. culmorum. Deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV), type B trichothecenes, were the two most abundant Fusarium mycotoxins detected in oat. Beauvericin (BEA) was also frequently detected, though at lower concentrations. Close clustering of F. poae and NIV/BEA, F. graminearum and DON, and F. sporotrichioides and HT2/T2 (type A trichothecenes) was detected in the principal component analysis. Sampling location and crop rotation significantly impacted the concentrations of Fusarium mycotoxins in oat. A phylogenetic analysis of 95 F. poae strains from Manitoba was conducted using the concatenated nucleotide sequences of Tef-1α, Tri1, and Tri8 genes. The results indicated that all F. poae strains belong to a monophyletic lineage. Four subgroups of F. poae strains were identified; however, no correlations were observed between the grouping of F. poae strains and sample locations/crop rotations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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19 pages, 2837 KiB  
Article
Phylogeny and Mycotoxin Profile of Pathogenic Fusarium Species Isolated from Sudden Decline Syndrome and Leaf Wilt Symptoms on Date Palms (Phoenix dactylifera) in Tunisia
Toxins 2021, 13(7), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13070463 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4054
Abstract
In 2017–2018, extensive symptoms of sudden decline and fruit rot were observed on date palms in southern Tunisia. Samples of diseased plants were randomly collected in six localities. Based on morphological identification, Fusarium was the most frequent fungal genus detected. A sequencing of [...] Read more.
In 2017–2018, extensive symptoms of sudden decline and fruit rot were observed on date palms in southern Tunisia. Samples of diseased plants were randomly collected in six localities. Based on morphological identification, Fusarium was the most frequent fungal genus detected. A sequencing of translation elongation factor, calmodulin, and second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II genes was used to identify 63 representative Fusarium strains at species level and investigate their phylogenetic relationships. The main species detected was Fusarium proliferatum, and at a much lesser extent, Fusarium brachygibbosum, Fusarium caatingaense, Fusarium clavum, Fusarium incarnatum, and Fusarium solani. Pathogenicity on the Deglet Nour variety plantlets and the capability to produce mycotoxins were also assessed. All Fusarium species were pathogenic complying Koch’s postulates. Fusarium proliferatum strains produced mainly fumonisins (FBs), beauvericin (BEA), and, to a lesser extent, enniatins (ENNs) and moniliformin (MON). All F. brachygibbosum strains produced low levels of BEA, diacetoxyscirpenol, and neosolaniol; two strains produced also T-2 toxin, and a single strain produced HT-2 toxin. Fusarium caatingaense, F. clavum, F. incarnatum produced only BEA. Fusarium solani strains produced MON, BEA, and ENNs. This work reports for the first time a comprehensive multidisciplinary study of Fusarium species on date palms, concerning both phytopathological and food safety issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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Review

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28 pages, 4189 KiB  
Review
Post-Translational Modifications of Histones Are Versatile Regulators of Fungal Development and Secondary Metabolism
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050317 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3371
Abstract
Chromatin structure is a major regulator of DNA-associated processes, such as transcription, DNA repair, and replication. Histone post-translational modifications, or PTMs, play a key role on chromatin dynamics. PTMs are involved in a wide range of biological processes in eukaryotes, including fungal species. [...] Read more.
Chromatin structure is a major regulator of DNA-associated processes, such as transcription, DNA repair, and replication. Histone post-translational modifications, or PTMs, play a key role on chromatin dynamics. PTMs are involved in a wide range of biological processes in eukaryotes, including fungal species. Their deposition/removal and their underlying functions have been extensively investigated in yeasts but much less in other fungi. Nonetheless, the major role of histone PTMs in regulating primary and secondary metabolisms of filamentous fungi, including human and plant pathogens, has been pinpointed. In this review, an overview of major identified PTMs and their respective functions in fungi is provided, with a focus on filamentous fungi when knowledge is available. To date, most of these studies investigated histone acetylations and methylations, but the development of new methodologies and technologies increasingly allows the wider exploration of other PTMs, such as phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, sumoylation, and acylation. Considering the increasing number of known PTMs and the full range of their possible interactions, investigations of the subsequent Histone Code, i.e., the biological consequence of the combinatorial language of all histone PTMs, from a functional point of view, are exponentially complex. Better knowledge about histone PTMs would make it possible to efficiently fight plant or human contamination, avoid the production of toxic secondary metabolites, or optimize the industrial biosynthesis of certain beneficial compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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29 pages, 2075 KiB  
Review
Secondary Metabolite Gene Regulation in Mycotoxigenic Fusarium Species: A Focus on Chromatin
Toxins 2022, 14(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14020096 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4307
Abstract
Fusarium is a species-rich group of mycotoxigenic plant pathogens that ranks as one of the most economically important fungal genera in the world. During growth and infection, they are able to produce a vast spectrum of low-molecular-weight compounds, so-called secondary metabolites (SMs). SMs [...] Read more.
Fusarium is a species-rich group of mycotoxigenic plant pathogens that ranks as one of the most economically important fungal genera in the world. During growth and infection, they are able to produce a vast spectrum of low-molecular-weight compounds, so-called secondary metabolites (SMs). SMs often comprise toxic compounds (i.e., mycotoxins) that contaminate precious food and feed sources and cause adverse health effects in humans and livestock. In this context, understanding the regulation of their biosynthesis is crucial for the development of cropping strategies that aim at minimizing mycotoxin contamination in the field. Nevertheless, currently, only a fraction of SMs have been identified, and even fewer are considered for regular monitoring by regulatory authorities. Limitations to exploit their full chemical potential arise from the fact that the genes involved in their biosynthesis are often silent under standard laboratory conditions and only induced upon specific stimuli mimicking natural conditions in which biosynthesis of the respective SM becomes advantageous for the producer. This implies a complex regulatory network. Several components of these gene networks have been studied in the past, thereby greatly advancing the understanding of SM gene regulation and mycotoxin biosynthesis in general. This review aims at summarizing the latest advances in SM research in these notorious plant pathogens with a focus on chromatin structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 15th European Fusarium Seminar)
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