Fusarium is a pathogen that can affect crops many ways. Fusarium guilleformes can cause sudden death syndrome in soybeans, Fusarium oxysporum can cause root rotting in tomato, pepper, and eggplant. In this episode, Dr. Alyssa Koehler, assistant professor and extension specialist from the University of Delaware, and Dr. Marty Chilvers, associate professor from Michigan State University, focus on Fusarium graminearum, which is important due to the ways it affects grain production.
Fusarium graminearum produces a mycotoxin called deoxynivalenol (DON). Since mycotoxins can impact health when they are injested, they are closely regulated in the United States. Only very low levels of mycotoxins are allowed, which is fortunate for consumers, who are protected from mycotoxin contamination. However, this also means that a wheat field infected with Fusarium graminearum may produce grain that contains the DON mycotoxin, which would be rejected at market just when the farmer thinks it is time to profit.
Listen in to the full podcast to learn more about Fusarium, to gain a better understanding of Fusarium disease complexes and races, and to learn more about the mycotoxins Fusarium can produce. Spoiler alert: DON isn’t the only one.