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Keywords:

  • trichothecene resistance;
  • Fusarium sambucinum ;
  • mycotoxin;
  • arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Abstract

Trichothecenes are an important family of mycotoxins produced by several species of the genus Fusarium. These fungi cause serious disease on infected plants and postharvest storage of crops, and the toxins can cause health problems for humans and animals. Unfortunately, there are few methods for controlling mycotoxin production by fungal pathogens, and most rely on chemicals, creating therefore subsequent problems of chemical resistance. We tested the impact of the symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus irregulare on a trichothecene-producing strain of Fusarium sambucinum isolated from naturally infected potato plants. Using dual in vitro cultures, we showed that G. irregulare inhibited the growth of F. sambucinum and significantly reduced the production of the trichothecene 4, 15-diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS). Furthermore, using G. irregulare-colonized potato plants infected with F. sambucinum, we found that the G. irregulare treatment inhibited the production of DAS in roots and tubers. Thus, in addition to the known beneficial effect of mycorrhizal symbiosis on plant growth, we found that G. irregulare controlled the growth of a virulent fungal pathogen and reduced production of a mycotoxin. This previously undescribed, biological control of Fusarium mycotoxin production by G. irregulare has potential implications for improved potato crop production and food safety.