DEVELOPMENT OF A DUPLEX PCR ASSAY FOR THE SIMULTANEOUS DETECTION OF FUSARIUM POAE AND FUSARIUM SPOROTRICHIOIDES FROM WHEAT
A complex of Fusarium species causes a wide range of diseases in a diversity of host plants worldwide. In cereals Fusarium head blight is one of the most devastating diseases. Besides yield loss, infection of the seeds by Fusarium spp. results in the accumulation of various mycotoxins in food. In small-grain cereals, F. poae and F. sporotrichioides are the main pathogens with such a toxigenic profile. In this study, a highly sensitive duplex PCR assay based on multi-copy rDNA sequences was developed for the differential detection of F. poae and F. sporotrichioides. The assay’s specificity was demonstrated on a wide range of Fusarium species from different parts of the world and from different hosts or substrates. When compared with tests based on single-copy sets of primers on symptomless wheat seed samples, our assay proved to have the highest sensitivity. The use of a marker developed on symptomless wheat seed samples originating from northern Poland showed that all samples were positive for the presence of F. poae.