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Phytopathology. 2008 Feb;98(2):159-66. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-98-2-0159.

Molecular characterization of the Fusarium graminearum species complex in Japan.

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  • 1Life Science Research Center, Gifu University, Yanagido, Gifu, Japan.


Members of the Fusarium graminearum species complex are important cereal pathogens worldwide and belong to one of at least nine phylogenetically distinct species. We examined 298 strains of the F. graminearum species complex collected from wheat or barley in Japan to determine the species and trichothecene chemotype. Phylogenetic analyses and species-diagnostic polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLPs) revealed the presence and differential distribution of F. graminearum sensu stricto (s. str.) and F. asiaticum in Japan. F. graminearum s. str. is predominant in the north, especially in the Hokkaido area, while F. asiaticum is predominant in southern regions. In the Tohoku area, these species co-occurred. Trichothecene chemotyping of all strains by multiplex PCR revealed significantly different chemotype compositions of these species. All 50 strains of F. graminearum s. str. were of a 15- or 3-acetyl deoxynivalenol type, while 173 (70%) out of 246 strains of F. asiaticum were of a nivalenol type. The possibility of gene flow between the two species was investigated by use of 15 PCR-RFLP markers developed in this study. However, no obvious hybrids were detected from 98 strains examined, including strains collected from regions where both species co-occur.

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