Pseudopithomyces chartarum associated with wheat seeds in Argentina, pathogenicity and evaluation of toxigenic ability
Argentina is one of the top 10 world producers and exporters of wheat. In routine surveys of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, a new disease was observed in 2012 on seeds of wheat cv. Buck Meteoro. Symptomatic grains (black points) and leaves (chlorosis and spots) were collected during the spring of that year. The objectives of the present study were to identify the causal agent, to investigate its pathogenicity in relation to nine wheat cultivars and to identify the secondary metabolites produced by fungus. Symptomatic grains were plated on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Morphological characterization of colonies and sequencing of the ITS region after DNA extraction identified it as Pseudopithomyces chartarum. For pathogenicity tests, two different isolates, P221 and P224, were inoculated on seedlings of nine wheat cultivars, which showed different disease symptoms, % of grain germination (GG), % of grain discoloration (GD) and % of weak seedlings (WS), suggesting different levels of response against Pseudopithomyces chartarum. Particularly B. Meteoro, Buck Guapo and Klein Proteo cultivars demonstrated major infection tolerance for GD and WS. In contrast, Sy 100 and Klein Pantera were most affected showing weakness, chlorosis, or reduced length of coleoptile, and 50% of necrotic symptoms. Pseudopithomyces chartarum isolates produced secondary metabolites including alternariol, alternariol mono-methyl ether, altertoxin I and altertoxine II. The fungus is a new pathogen of wheat in Argentina that can cause diseases on different cultivars as well as produce mycotoxins.
KeywordsPseudopithomyces chartarum Fungi Symptoms evaluation Mycotoxins
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