MORPHOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR IDENTIFICATION OF FUSARIUM ISOLATED FROM MAIZE EARS IN IRAN
V. Rahjoo, J. Zad, M. Javan-Nikkhah, A. Mirzadi Gohari, S.M. Okhovvat, M.R. Bihamta, J. Razzaghian, S.S. Klemsdal
A total of 191 Fusarium isolates were recovered from maize ears collected from 11 different geographic regions in Iran during 2004 and 2005. Fusarium isolates were identified on morphological characters and using species-specific PCR assays. DNA sequence-based identification of some unknown isolates was achieved using the translation elongation factor 1-a (TEF) gene region. Fusarium verticillioides was the most prevalent species representing 69.6% of the isolates. PCR analysis using the species-specific primers VER1/2 and PRO1/2 confirmed 98.5% and 85.1% of the morphological identifications of F. verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum respectively. Based on sequence analysis five isolates were identified as either Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium cf. bullatum or Fusarium thapsinum. Two isolates appeared to represent a new unnamed Fusarium species. This is the first report of F. cf. bullatum and F. thapsinum on maize kernels in Iran.