, Volume 108, Issue 7, pp 685-690

Relationship Between Growth and Mycotoxin Production by Fusarium species, Biocides and Environment

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Fusarium head blight of cereals has, in recent years, become one of the most important pre-harvest diseases worldwide. This paper examines the in vitro efficacy of fungicides to control Fusarium species in cereals and the efficacy in the field on both Fusarium infection of ripening ears as well as their impact on mycotoxin production. Field studies suggest that fungicides such as tebuconazole and metconazole give good control of both Fusarium infection of ears and control of deoxynivalenol (DON) production. However, azoxystrobin and related fungicides are less effective, and grain from treated crops has sometimes been found to have increased concentrations of DON and nivalenol. Studies of isolates of Fusarium culmorum from different parts of Europe showed that complex interactions occur between environmental factors, fungicide type and isolate in relation to growth inhibition and DON production. These studies confirmed the ineffectiveness of azoxystrobin and suggest that environmental stress factors, particularly water availability and temperature, and low fungicide doses may stimulate mycotoxin production by Fusaria in vitro and in wheat grain.