Effect of wheat cultivar on the concentration of fusarium mycotoxins in wheat stems

Kaitlyn M. Bissonnette, Frederic L. Kolb, Keith A. Ames, Carl A. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective control of Fusarium-mycotoxin accumulation in grain affected by Fusarium head blight (FHB) (caused by Fusarium graminearum) begins with selecting moderately resistant wheat cultivars; however, little is known about how this resistance affects mycotoxin levels in the stem. A study was conducted from 2011 to 2014 in a mist-irrigated FHB nursery in Urbana, IL to determine whether the FHB resistance class of a cultivar (very susceptible, susceptible, moderately susceptible, and moderately resistant) affects the concentration of Fusarium mycotoxins in the stem. FHB incidence, FHB severity, and Fusarium-damaged kernel ratings were collected and used to calculate FHB index; incidence, severity, and kernel damage (ISK) index; and deoxynivalenol (DON), incidence, severity, and kernel damage (DISK) index. Grain was assayed for levels of DON, and the bottom 25 cm of plant stems was collected from each plot and assayed for DON, 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3ADON), and 15- acetyl-deoxynivalenol (15ADON). Significant differences in DON concentration in the grain were detected among cultivars (P = 0.0001) and for the concentration of all DON (P = 0.003), 3ADON (P = 0.03), and 15ADON (P < 0.0001) in the stem. Significant differences among resistance classes were observed for FHB index value (P < 0.0001), ISK index (P = 0.006), and DISK index (P = 0.004). In all years of this study, the concentration of DON in the grain and the concentrations of all mycotoxins in the stem were consistently lower in the moderately resistant cultivars. All three indices were poor indicators of mycotoxin concentrations in the stem. Overall, the selection of a moderately resistant cultivar provides effective control of DON accumulation in the grain and mycotoxin accumulation in the stem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2539-2544
Number of pages6
JournalPlant disease
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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