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PCR assay to identify mating type in Fusarium/Gibberella

A robust, multiplex PCR assay was developed for the rapid identification of mating type in the Gibberella fujikuori species complex. The diagnostic value of this technique was clearly proven on eight pairs of mating type tester strains (A-H) of G. fujikuroi, as well as on a number of field isolates.

In order to assess the potential for mating in Fusarium species with no known sexual stage, diagnostic PCR-primers were developed and tested on a number of strains of F. avenaceum, F. camptoceras, F. cerealis, F. culmorum, F. poae, F. semitectum and F. sporotrichioides. All strains contained one of the two conserved MAT regions. RT-PCR experiments showed, that the mating type genes are transcribed in these asexual fungi.

These techniques help to select potential partners for laboratory crossing experiments. Assessing the potential for mating by toxigenic strains of Fusarium would increase our understanding of the genetic mechanisms that maintain intraspecific diversity, and biological and evolutionary species integrity.

The frequency of sexual reproduction also is an important parameter when designing strategies to control plant pathogens, since these strategies are often different for clonally and for sexually reproducing organisms.

Three papers and six conference presentations have been published in this work. The method can be used by breeding companies and plant protection services.

More information on the DETOX-FUNGI project can be found at:

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Reported by

Agricultural Biotechnology Center
Szent-Györgyi A. u. 4.
2100 Gödöllõ
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