Fusarium graminearum as the main causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and its ability to produce trichothecenes was investigated by molecular techniques. A total of 37 strains isolated from the wheat, harvested in Serbia in 2005, 2008 and 2015, and previously designated by morphological observation as F. graminearum, were used for trichothecene genotypes characterization. The strains were identified using the species-specific primer set FG16R/FG16F while genotypic characterization was done using specific TRI13 and TRI3 sequences of the trichothecene gene clusters. The PCR assays identified all strains as species of F. graminearum sensu stricto with the DON/15-ADON genotype. The quantification of the mycotoxin (DON) was performed using the biochemical assay. The high levels of DON (>20,000 µg kg-1) were recorded in all of the strains from 2005, four strains from 2008 and two strains from 2015. Weather data of the investigated seasons, showed that the optimal temperature, frequent rains and high relative humidity (RH) was very favourable for the development of F. graminearum, affecting the DON biosynthesis.
Keywords: Fusarium graminearum; Fusarium head blight; trichothecene genotypes; winter wheat.