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Pest Manag Sci. 2001 Jun;57(6):491-500.

Effects of tebuconazole on morphology, structure, cell wall components and trichothecene production of Fusarium culmorum in vitro.

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Institute of Phytomedicine (360), University Hohenheim, D-70593, Stuttgart, Germany.


The effects of tebuconazole, a systemic fungicide, on the morphology, structure, cell wall components and toxin production of Fusarium culmorum were investigated in vitro. Treatment was by application of four filter paper strips (0.75 cm x 5.0 cm) soaked in 20 micrograms ml-1 fungicide placed around a point inoculum in Petri dishes. Mycelial growth was strongly inhibited by fungicide treatment. Scanning electron microscopic observations showed that the fungicide caused irregular swelling and excessive branching of hyphae. The morphological changes induced by the fungicide at the ultrastructural level included considerable thickening of the hyphal cell walls, excessive septation, the formation of the incomplete septa, extensive vacuolisation, accumulation of lipid bodies and progressing necrosis or degeneration of the hyphal cytoplasm. Non-membrane inclusion bodies were often detected in the hyphal cytoplasm. Furthermore, the formation of new hyphae (daughter hyphae) inside collapsed hyphal cells was common following treatment. The daughter hyphae also displayed severe alterations such as irregular thickening of the cell walls and necrosis of the cytoplasm. Using cytochemical techniques, the labelling densities of chitin and beta-1,3-glucan in the cell walls of the fungicide-treated hyphae were more pronounced than in those of the control hyphae. Moreover, immunogold labelling with antiserum against deoxynivalenol (DON) revealed that Fusarium toxin DON was localized in the cell walls, cytoplasm, mitochondria and vacuoles of the hyphae from the control and the fungicide treatment, but the labelling density in the fungicide-treated hyphae decreased dramatically compared with the control hyphae, indicating that tebuconazole reduced Fusarium toxin production of the fungus.

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