Species-specific PCR-based assays for the detection of Fusarium species and a comparison with the whole seed agar plate method and trichothecene analysis

Tigst Demeke, Randy M Clear, Susan K Patrick, Don Gaba
International Journal of Food Microbiology 2005 September 15, 103 (3): 271-84
Species-specific PCR was used for the identification of nine Fusarium species in pure mycelial culture. A PCR-based method was compared with the whole seed agar plate method and trichothecene analysis for three toxin-producing Fusarium species using 85 grain samples of wheat, barley, oat, corn and rye. A simple SDS-based DNA extraction system followed by potassium acetate precipitation resulted in consistent PCR amplification of DNA fragments from cultures and grain samples. The species-specific PCR assays correctly identified pure cultures of Fusarium avenaceum ssp. avenaceum (9 isolates), Fusarium acuminatum ssp. acuminatum (12 isolates), Fusarium crookwellense (7 isolates), Fusarium culmorum (12 isolates), Fusarium equiseti (11 isolates), Fusarium graminearum (77 isolates), Fusarium poae (10 isolates), Fusarium pseudograminearum (23 isolates), and Fusarium sporotrichioides (10 isolates). Multiplex PCR was developed for the simultaneous detection of F. culmorum, F. graminearum and F. sporotrichioides, the three most important trichothecene producing species in Canada. In grain samples, results of PCR assays for these same three species related well with whole seed agar plate method results and determination of Fusarium trichothecenes. The PCR assay described in this study can be used for routine detection and identification of Fusarium spp. in Canada.

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