In human nutrition, oats (Avena sativa L.) are mainly used for their dietary fiber, β-D-glucans and protein content. The content of β-D-glucans in oat grain is 2-7% and is influenced by genetic and/or environmental factors. High levels of this cell walls polysaccharide are observed in naked grains of cultivated oat. It the work, the relationship between the content of β-D-glucans in oat grain and the infection with Fusarium graminearum (FG) and Fusarium culmorum (FC) was analyzed. The hypothesis was that oats with higher content of β-D-glucans are better protected and the manifestation of artificial inoculation with Fusarium strains is weaker. In the 22 oat samples analyzed, the content of β-D-glucans was 0.71-5.06%. In controls, the average content was 2.15% for hulled and 3.25% for naked grains of cultivated oats. After the infection, a decrease was observed in all, naked, hulled and wild oats. As an evidence of lower rate of infection, statistically significant lower percentage of pathogen DNA (0.39%) and less deoxynivalenol (DON) mycotoxin (FC infection 10.66 mg/kg and FG 4.92 mg/kg) were observed in naked grains compared to hulled where the level of pathogen DNA was 2.09% and the average DON level was 21.95 mg/kg (FC) and 5.52 mg/kg (FG).
Keywords: DON; Fusarium; artificial inoculation; oat; plant protection; β-D-glucans.