, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 123–136 | Cite as

The aerobiology of Fusarium graminearum

  • Melissa D. Keller
  • Gary C. Bergstrom
  • Elson J. Shields
Review Paper


Current knowledge of the aerobiology of Fusarium graminearum sensu lato is based on decades of published research documenting the processes of spore discharge, atmospheric transport, and deposition in this important pathogen of cereal crops worldwide. Spores from both local and more distant sources have been shown to cause infection in susceptible cereal crops when environmental conditions are favorable. Susceptible crops may be exposed throughout a growing season to airborne spores deposited in rain events and in night-time hours through gravitational settling. Given that spores deposited on cereal florets originate from distant as well as local sources, disease risk forecasts, based currently on weather favoring local spore production during the days before peak infection (i.e., initiation of crop flowering), might be improved by placing greater emphasis on local weather directly favoring infection at and following the time of flowering. Also, considering the genetic diversity of fungal spores introduced to local agricultural fields following atmospheric transport, crop breeders should select resistant varieties based on screening against a set of fungal isolates that represent the range of virulence observed in fungal populations across a broader geographic region. An increased understanding of the aerobiology of F. graminearum contributes to the overall knowledge of plant pathogen transport in the atmosphere.


Spore transport Fusarium head blight Gibberella zeae Disease forecasting 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa D. Keller
    • 1
  • Gary C. Bergstrom
    • 2
  • Elson J. Shields
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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