Insights Into Triticum aestivum Seedling Root Rot Caused by Fusarium graminearum.

Molecular plant-microbe interactions : MPMI

PubMedID: 26325125

Wang Q, Buxa SV, Furch A, Friedt W, Gottwald S. Insights Into Triticum aestivum Seedling Root Rot Caused by Fusarium graminearum. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2015;.
Fusarium graminearum is one of the most common and potent fungal pathogens of wheat (Triticum aestivum), known for causing devastating spike infections and grain yield damage. F. graminearum is a typical soil-borne pathogen that builds up during consecutive cereal cropping. Speculation on systemic colonization of cereals by F. graminearum root infection have long existed but have not been proven. We have assessed the Fusarium root rot disease macroscopically in a diverse set of 12 wheat genotypes and microscopically in a comparative study of two genotypes with diverging responses. Here, we show a 'new' aspect of the F. graminearum life cycle, i. e. , the head blight fungus uses a unique root-infection strategy with an initial stage typical for root pathogens and a later stage typical for spike infection. Root colonization negatively affects seedling development and leads to systemic plant invasion by tissue-adapted fungal strategies. Another major outcome is the identification of partial resistance to root rot. Disease severity assessments and histological examinations both demonstrated three distinct disease phases that, however, proceeded differently in resistant and susceptible genotypes. Soil-borne inoculum and root infection are considered significant components of the F. graminearum life cycle with important implications for the development of new strategies of resistance breeding and disease control.