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Journal of Applied Genetics 49(3), 2008, pp. 305-311

Detection of Fusarium tricinctum from cereal grain using PCR assay

Tomasz Kulik

Abstract: Contamination of cereals with mycotoxins produced by Fusarium is a worldwide problem requiring rapid and sensitive detection methods. This paper describes the development of a PCR protocol facilitating the detection of F. tricinctum, which belongs to the FHB (Fusarium Head Blight) complex responsible for contamination of cereal grains with enniatins and moniliformin. Sequence alignment of partial IGS rDNA revealed a single nucleotide polymorphism, which was used to design primers differentiating F. tricinctum from other members of the FHB complex. The specificity of the assay was tested on 68 isolates belonging to 21 Fusarium species originating from different parts of the world and hosts/substrates. Positive PCR results were obtained from all 12 F. tricinctum isolates tested; however, unexpected amplicons were amplified from the templates of F. acuminatum (CBS 618.87) and F. nurragi (CBS 393.96). No cross reactivity was found with any other Fusarium species tested. The PCR assay was tested on 24 asymptomatic wheat seed samples originating from Northern Poland and resulted in 13 positive samples, of which 11 samples were contaminated with moniliformin and/or antibiotic Y.

Key words: F. tricinctum, PCR, IGS rDNA, detection.

Correspondence: T. Kulik, Department of Diagnostics and Plant Pathophysiology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Lodzki 5, Olsztyn 10-957, Poland; e-mail:

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