Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat and barley is a major threat to production world-wide. Both chemical control and breeding for resistance are important points of attention to control FHB.

Generally, FHB is caused by a complex of species that co-exist in natural populations. The different mycotoxins produced by these species are a major concern to the food en feed industry as they depreciate the quality of cereal commodities and hamper processing. We therefore developed a TaqMan based PCR to simultaneously quantify five Fusarium species in leaves, ears and seeds. Resistance of wheat to Fusarium species is a complex biological process and has been categorized into different resistance types. Among those, Type 1 resistance, which is usually described as resistance to infection, and Type 2 resistance that provides resistance to colonization, are commonly used in field screenings and breeding processes. The differentiation of these two resistance types, however, is not a routine procedure and can only be accomplished through complex and time consuming experiments. The identification of other resistance types that are being recognized in the wheat-Fusarium pathosystem is even more complicated. Chemical control of Fusarium species is a major issue for the agrochemical industry. However, the number of effective fungicides is rather limited and efficacy indications under field conditions are not always easy to achieve.  We have developed a quantitative TaqMan PCR  test and fluorescence based imaging technology  that can be used for monitoring of Fusarium in wheat. Subsequently adequate control measures can be applied.


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