Multifaceted Insights on Fusarium Head Blight in Small Grains in Pennsylvania

Maıra R. Duffeck, Emerson M.Del Ponte, Paul D. Esker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a serious disease of small-grain cereals that causes economic losses due to both yield reduction and mycotoxin contamination worldwide. To optimize the regional management of the disease, knowledge of risk factors associated with FHB outbreaks and mycotoxin accumulation are essential steps. Therefore, a 2-year survey was conducted during the summers of 2018 and 2019, in which naturally FHB-affected spikes from different hosts were collected across the major cereal-producing regions of Pennsylvania (South, Central, and North). FHB severity (%) data were recorded from each field. Furthermore, a collection of 307 Fusarium graminearum isolates was used to investigate specific components of the pathogen biology, such as the composition of the trichothecene genotype, saprophytic and pathogenic fitness, and sensitivity to triazole-based fungicides. Our results confirm that FHB is an important disease in Pennsylvania, and the risk of disease epidemics may be impacted by both the year and the location. Overall, the regional population of F. graminearum causing FHB in Pennsylvania is the 15ADON genotype. Based on in vitro and in vivo experiments, F. graminearum populations obtained from three distinct small-grain management regions could not be differentiated for the majority of fitness traits examined. All isolates were sensitive to tebuconazole and metconazole fungicides in vitro. Overall, this new knowledge can help shed light on the relative importance of FHB epidemics in Pennsylvania and provide directions for monitoring the sustainability of the integrated strategies used to manage FHB and mycotoxin accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-464
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Health Progress
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifaceted Insights on Fusarium Head Blight in Small Grains in Pennsylvania'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this