PCR detection assays for the trichothecene-producing species Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium poae, Fusarium equiseti and Fusarium sporotrichioides

Miguel Jurado, Covadonga Vázquez, Belén Patiño, M Teresa González-Jaén
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 2005, 28 (6): 562-8
Contamination of small-grain cereals with the fungal species Fusarium graminearum, F. culmorum, F. poae, F. sporotrichioides and F. equiseti is an important source of trichothecenes, Zearalenone and other mycotoxins which cause serious diseases in human and animals. Additionally, these species contribute to Fusarium Head Blight, a disease which produces important losses in cereal yield. Early detection and control of these Fusarium species is crucial to prevent toxins entering the food chain and a useful tool in disease management practices. We describe the development of specific PCR assays to F. graminearum, F. culmorum, F. poae, F. sporotrichioides and F. equiseti using DNA from pure fungal cultures as well as from naturally infected wheat seeds, using in this case a rapid and easy protocol for DNA isolation. The specific primers were designed on the basis of IGS sequences (Intergenic Spacer of rDNA), a multicopy region in the genome that permits to enhance the sensitivity of the assay in comparison with PCR assays based on single-copy sequences.

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