Submitted to: Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2004
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Fusarium graminearum, the predominant causal agent of wheat head scab, is a major economic and food safety concern. In addition to a reduction in yield, infected wheat may also lead to seed contamination by the fungal generated toxin, deoxynivalenol (DON). DON is toxic to both plants and animals and is also a critical component of pathogenicity on wheat. Wheat contaminated with DON exacerbates the economic loss during grain marketing through added expenses for screening and testing. Given these concerns, it is imperative that we understand the pathway(s) for DON synthesis so that effective control strategies can be developed. Through gene knockout technology, genes and pathways suspected of being important in the pathogenesis of F. graminearum are being tested in the greenhouse and in the field. These studies depend on technology that allows the researcher to distinguish between disease caused by the parental strain and disease caused by the mutant, test strain. The recent advance of quantitative PCR has enabled the detection and quantification of fungi from field samples at the genus and species levels. The Nicholson lab (Department of Disease and Stress Biology, John Innes Centre, UK) has developed primers (Fg16F/R) to specifically detect and quantify F. graminearum from infected grain. In this report, we describe the development of a real-time quantitative PCR protocol using the Fg16F/R primers. In addition, we developed primers specific to our gene knockout technology. Given the documented specificity of the Fg16F/R primers and the widespread use of gene knockout technology, our protocol will be of general use to the plant pathology community for studying the pathobiology of F. graminearum.