Two fumonisin-nonproducing strains of Fusarium verticillioides and their fumonisin producing progenitors were tested for aggressiveness toward maize, sorghum, rice, and beetroot seedlings grown under greenhouse conditions. None of the plants showed obvious disease symptoms after root dip inoculation. Fungal biomass was determined by species-specific real-time PCR. No significant (P = 0.05) differences in systemic colonization were detected between the wild type strains and mutants not producing fumonisins. F. verticillioides was not detected in any of the non-inoculated control plants. The fungus grew from roots to the first two internodes/leaves of maize, rice and beet regardless of fumonisin production. The systemic growth of F. verticillioides in sorghum was limited. The results showed that fumonisin production was not required for the infection of roots of maize, rice and beet by F. verticillioides.
PMID: 26672472 [PubMed]