Plant Molecular Biology

, 77:355 | Cite as

Identification of metabolites related to mechanisms of resistance in barley against Fusarium graminearum, based on mass spectrometry

  • Venkatesh Bollina
  • Ajjamada C. Kushalappa
  • Thin M. Choo
  • Yves Dion
  • Sylvie Rioux


Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an economically important disease of the family Triticeae, as, apart from yield reduction it also causes quality deterioration by producing mycotoxins. Host resistance is the most promising way to control the disease. Metabolic profiling was applied to identify resistance related (RR) metabolites against Fusarium graminearum in five FHB-resistant genotypes (‘Chevron’, ‘H5277-44’, ‘H5277-164’, ‘M92-513’ and ‘M122’) relative to one FHB-susceptible genotype (‘Stander’). The disease severity was assessed in greenhouse to group the genotypes based on FHB-resistance. The disease was quantified as the proportion of diseased spikelets (PSD) and the area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC). Spikelets were collected at 72 h post inoculation. Metabolites were extracted into an aqueous solution of methanol and analyzed using a LC-hybrid-MS system. Metabolite abundances were subjected to a resistant versus susceptible pair-wise analysis, using a t test. Resistance related (RR) metabolites, both constitutive (RRC) and induced (RRI), were identified amongst metabolites whose levels were significantly higher in resistant genotype than in susceptible. Among 1,430 RR metabolites, 115 were putatively identified. These RR metabolites belonged to different chemical groups: fatty acids: linolenic acid; phenylpropanoids: p-coumaric, sinapic acid; flavonoids: naringenin, kaempferol glucoside, catechol glucoside. In addition, resistance indicator metabolites, such as deoxynivalenol (DON) and DON-3-O-glucoside (D3G) were also detected. The amount of total DON synthesized converted to D3G (PDC) was the greatest in resistant genotype ‘Chevron’ (PDC = 0.76). The role of the resistance-related and resistance-indicator metabolites on plant defense, and their use as potential biomarkers to screen barley genotypes for FHB resistance is discussed.


Fusarium graminearum Gibberella zeae Fusarium head blight Metabolomics Biomarker Disease resistance Hordeum vulgare 



Accurate mass error


Area under disease progress curve


Canonical vector


Canonical discriminant analysis






Fusarium head blight


Gas chromatography mass spectrometry


Jasmonic acid


Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry


Proportion of DON converted to D3G


Pathogenesis related


Proportion of diseased spikelets


Quantitative trait loci


Resistant mock-inoculated


Resistant pathogen-inoculated




Resistance-related constitutive


Resistance-related induced


Susceptible mock-inoculated


Susceptible pathogen-inoculated


Total DON produced



This project was funded by the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), Centre de recherche sur les grains inc. (CEROM), and the Fédération des producteurs de porc du Québec (FPPQ), Québec, Canada.

Supplementary material

11103_2011_9815_MOESM1_ESM.doc (296 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 295 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Venkatesh Bollina
    • 1
  • Ajjamada C. Kushalappa
    • 1
  • Thin M. Choo
    • 2
  • Yves Dion
    • 3
  • Sylvie Rioux
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant Science DepartmentMcGill UniversitySainte-Anne-de-BellevueCanada
  2. 2.Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche Sur Les Grains Inc.Saint-Mathieu-de-BeloeilCanada
  4. 4.Centre de Recherche Sur Les Grains Inc.Ste. FoyCanada

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