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J. Fungi 2018, 4(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof4020063

Alternaria and Fusarium Fungi: Differences in Distribution and Spore Deposition in a Topographically Heterogeneous Wheat Field

1
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Str. 84, D-15374 Müncheberg, Germany
2
Department Ecological Modelling, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Permoserstr. 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany
3
Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB), Altensteinstr. 34, 14195 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogenic Fungi and Oomycetes)
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Abstract

Fusarium spp. and Alternaria spp., two genera of filamentous fungi, are common colonizers of the wheat phyllosphere. Both can be pathogenic and produce mycotoxins that are harmful to consumers. Their in-field infection dynamics have been a focus for the development of new control strategies. We analysed the abundance on plant ears and spore deposition patterns of Fusarium spp. and Alternaria spp. in a topographically heterogeneous field. Abundances were assessed genetically, using qPCR-based techniques, and passive spore traps were installed for quantifying the spore deposition at different plant heights. Data loggers were placed to measure the differences in microclimate across the field. Results indicate different distribution and spore deposition patterns for the two fungi. Fusarium spp. spore and genetic abundances were higher in spots with a more humid and colder under-canopy microclimate. Alternaria spp. showed the opposite trend for genetic abundance, while its spore deposition was not correlated to any of the microclimatic conditions and was more uniform across the field. Our study extends the knowledge on the dispersal and in-field infection dynamics of Fusarium spp. and Alternaria spp., important for a better understanding of the epidemiology of these wheat pathogens. It also illustrates that topographically heterogeneous fields are a suitable environment for studying the ecology of phyllosphere-colonizing fungi. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fusarium head blight; microclimate; canopy; passive spore traps; fungal dispersal Fusarium head blight; microclimate; canopy; passive spore traps; fungal dispersal
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Schiro, G.; Verch, G.; Grimm, V.; Müller, M.E.H. Alternaria and Fusarium Fungi: Differences in Distribution and Spore Deposition in a Topographically Heterogeneous Wheat Field. J. Fungi 2018, 4, 63.

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