Fusarium head blight incidence and mycotoxin accumulation in three durum wheat cultivars in relation to sowing date and density

Naturwissenschaften. 2017 Dec 5;105(1-2):2. doi: 10.1007/s00114-017-1528-7.


Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var. durum) is an important crop in Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean countries. Fusarium head blight (FHB) is considered as one of the most damaging diseases, resulting in yield and quality reduction as well as contamination of grain with mycotoxins. Three winter durum wheat cultivars originating from Austria, Slovakia, and Poland were analyzed during 2012-2014 seasons for FHB incidence and Fusarium mycotoxin accumulation in harvested grain. Moreover, the effects of sowing density and delayed sowing date were evaluated in the climatic conditions of Southern Poland. Low disease severity was observed in 2011/2012 in all durum wheat cultivars analyzed, and high FHB occurrence was recorded in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 seasons. Fusarium graminearum was the most abundant pathogen, followed by Fusarium avenaceum. Through all three seasons, cultivar Komnata was the most susceptible to FHB and to mycotoxin accumulation, while cultivars Auradur and IS Pentadur showed less symptoms. High susceptibility of cv. Komnata was reflected by the number of Fusarium isolates and elevated mycotoxin (deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, and moniliformin) content in the grain of this cultivar across all three seasons. Nivalenol was identified in the samples of cv. Komnata only. Genotype-dependent differences in FHB susceptibility were observed for the plants sown at optimal date but not at delayed sowing date. It can be hypothesized that cultivars bred in Austria and Slovakia show less susceptibility towards FHB than the cultivar from Poland because of the environmental conditions allowing for more efficient selection of breeding materials.

Keywords: Deoxynivalenol; Durum wheat; Fusarium; Moniliformin; Nivalenol; Zearalenone.

MeSH terms

  • Fusarium / physiology*
  • Mediterranean Region
  • Mycotoxins / analysis*
  • Mycotoxins / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Triticum / chemistry*
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Mycotoxins