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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Sep;65(9):3850-4.

Development and use of a reverse transcription-PCR assay to study expression of Tri5 by Fusarium species in vitro and in planta.

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  • 1Cereals Department, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7UH, United Kingdom.


The Tri5 gene encodes trichodiene synthase, which catalyzes the first reaction in the trichothecene biosynthetic pathway. In vitro, a direct relationship was observed between Tri5 expression and the increase in deoxynivalenol production over time. We developed a reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assay to quantify Tri5 gene expression in trichothecene-producing strains of Fusarium species. We observed an increase in Tri5 expression following treatment of Fusarium culmorum with fungicides, and we also observed an inverse relationship between Tri5 expression and biomass, as measured by beta-D-glucuronidase activity, during colonization of wheat (cv. Avalon) seedlings by F. culmorum. RT-PCR analysis also showed that for ears of wheat cv. Avalon inoculated with F. culmorum, there were different levels of Tri5 expression in grain and chaff at later growth stages. We used the Tri5-specific primers to develop a PCR assay to detect trichothecene-producing Fusarium species in infected plant material.

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