Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Pest and Disease Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (17 February 2023) | Viewed by 21588

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Department of Small Cereal Crops Breeding and Genetics, Agricultural Institute Osijek, Juzno Predgradje 17, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
Interests: wheat breeding and genetics; abiotic and biotic stress; plant defense
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1. Department of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biometrics, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Zagreb, Croatia
2. Center of Excellence for Biodiversity and Molecular Plant Breeding, Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: wheat; maize; molecular markers; breeding for yield and quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), caused by several Fusarium species—mainly Fusarium graminearum, F. culmorum, and F. avenaceum,--is a devastating disease of wheat which reduces both grain yield and quality. FHB affects the grain protein content by destroying starch granules, storage proteins, and cell walls and consequently decreases the quality of dough properties. It is also associated with mycotoxin contamination and is a significant threat to animal and human health. Furthermore, Fusarium spp. affect plant development and trigger different morphological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular changes. Current climate change scenarios predict an increase in the number of epidemics caused by this disease, and many different strategies for disease control are currently being researched.

 This Special Issue aims to bring the latest achievements on Fusarium disease in wheat, including the genetics or physiology of resistance, resistance mechanisms, host–pathogen interactions, and agronomic approaches in the field (fungicidal management, integration of host resistance and fungicides, timing of fungicide application). Original research, reviews, and opinions on recent advances in strategies for the control of Fusarium disease in wheat are also welcome.

Dr. Valentina Spanic
Prof. Dr. Hrvoje Šarčević
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Fusarium Head Blight
  • resistance breeding
  • host–pathogen interactions
  • fungicidal approaches

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

4 pages, 214 KiB  
Editorial
Evaluation of Effective System for Tracing FHB Resistance in Wheat: An Editorial Commentary
by Valentina Spanic and Hrvoje Sarcevic
Agronomy 2023, 13(8), 2116; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13082116 - 12 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
A Special Issue of Agronomy titled “Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat” published five articles addressing the resistance of winter wheat varieties/lines to Fusarium head blight (FHB) [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

14 pages, 2561 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Inoculation Methods for Determination of Winter Wheat Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight
by Hrvoje Šarčević, Miroslav Bukan, Ana Lovrić and Marko Maričević
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041175 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
One of the most severe winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) diseases is Fusarium head blight (FHB). It is believed that selection for resistance to FHB is better in high disease pressure environments, for which various methods of artificial inoculation are used. The [...] Read more.
One of the most severe winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) diseases is Fusarium head blight (FHB). It is believed that selection for resistance to FHB is better in high disease pressure environments, for which various methods of artificial inoculation are used. The standard spray method of artificial inoculation is believed to be technically demanding and labour intensive. Therefore, scattering Fusarium-infected maize stalks onto trial plots after wheat emergence is suggested as a suitable alternative. The aim of this study was to compare the mean values and heritability of the visual rating index (VRI) and the percentage of Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK) between the two abovementioned methods of artificial inoculation and natural infection, and to determine the phenotypic correlations between the three methods for the studied traits. The achieved levels of VRI and FDK were comparable for the two methods of artificial inoculation and considerably lower under natural conditions. Heritability for VRI ranged over four years from 0.68 to 0.91 for the spray method, from 0.73 to 0.95 for the infected maize stalks, and from 0.26 to 0.65 for natural infection, whereas for FDK it ranged from 0.56 to 0.85, 0.38 to 0.83, and 0.11 to 0.44 for the three inoculation methods, respectively. The strong positive correlation between the two applied methods of artificial inoculation for studied traits suggests that scattering infected maize stalks could serve as a reliable supplement for the technically and labor-intensive spray method of artificial inoculation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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17 pages, 1873 KiB  
Article
Three-Year Survey of Fusarium Multi-Metabolites/Mycotoxins Contamination in Wheat Samples in Potentially Epidemic FHB Conditions
by Valentina Spanic, Marko Maricevic, Ivica Ikic, Michael Sulyok and Hrvoje Sarcevic
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030805 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a fungal disease of cereals including wheat, which results in significant economic losses and reductions in grain quality. Additionally, the presence of Fusarium spp. results in productions of mycotoxins/metabolites, some of which are toxic in low concentrations. The [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a fungal disease of cereals including wheat, which results in significant economic losses and reductions in grain quality. Additionally, the presence of Fusarium spp. results in productions of mycotoxins/metabolites, some of which are toxic in low concentrations. The liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was applied to 216 wheat samples from field conditions diseased with FHB. Data obtained show that out of 28 metabolites detected, deoxynivalenol (DON), deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside (D3G), enniatin B (ENN B), enniatin B1 (ENN B1), culmorin, 15-hydroxyculmorin, and aurofusarin were the most prevalent mycotoxins/metabolites over three years (2014–2016). In 2014–2016, 100, 100 and 96% of the samples were contaminated with zearalenone (ZEN). Of the masked mycotoxins, D3G occurred at a high incidence level of 100% in all three investigated years. Among emerging mycotoxins, moniliformin (MON), beauvericin (BEA) and enniatins (ENNs) showed high occurrences ranging from 27 and 100% during three investigated years. Co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins/metabolites was high and almost all were highly correlated to each other but their possible synergistic, additive, or antagonistic effects of toxicity, should be taken into consideration. Our results demonstrated that modified and emerging mycotoxins/metabolites contributed substantially to the overall contamination of wheat grains. To avoid disparagement, it is necessary to analyse these forms in future mycotoxin monitoring programs and to set their maximum levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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23 pages, 1620 KiB  
Article
Impact of Fusarium Head Blight on Wheat Flour Quality: Examination of Protease Activity, Technological Quality and Rheological Properties
by Vesna Peršić, Iva Božinović, Ivan Varnica, Jurislav Babić and Valentina Španić
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030662 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1434
Abstract
Wheat infections caused by Fusarium represent a global agricultural problem that reduces grain yield and negatively impacts wheat’s technological and rheological quality. Although fungal proteases or an increase in endogenous proteases due to Fusarium infection could negatively influence wheat storage proteins and dough [...] Read more.
Wheat infections caused by Fusarium represent a global agricultural problem that reduces grain yield and negatively impacts wheat’s technological and rheological quality. Although fungal proteases or an increase in endogenous proteases due to Fusarium infection could negatively influence wheat storage proteins and dough performance, little research has been performed on either of these topics. The primary objective of this study was to identify the effect of Fusarium infection on protease activity in 25 wheat cultivars grown in two distinct locations in eastern Croatia. Apart from proteolytic activity, this paper describes the impact of Fusarium head blight (FHB) infection on the technological quality parameters of wheat flour and the dough’s rheological properties. The first treatment consisted of naturally grown, healthy wheat without fungicides, while the second treatment utilized wheat varieties subjected to intense FHB infection. Protein and wet gluten content in wheat grain and flour of uninfected cultivars were heavily influenced by testing location, soil type, and quality. Fusarium infection increased the activity of nonspecific proteases by 43% in flour samples from Osijek and 125% in flour samples from Tovarnik. Estimates of effect size showed that FHB infection had twice as big an effect on protease activity in Tovarnik as in Osijek, and a similar trend was found for dough softening. Moreover, the infection significantly impacted wheat cultivars’ extensograph values, indicating a lower resistance to stretching, extensibility, and total stretching energy in infected flour samples, indicating that dough functionality and volume loss can be attributed to exogenous fungal proteases. Still, the magnitude of the effect varied depending on the growth location and the cultivar’s traits. Multivariate data analysis identified three clusters of wheat cultivars, each with varying degrees of the Fusarium infection’s effects. Some cultivars displayed consistent protease activity and flour quality across sites. In contrast, others showed variability in their responses due to environmental conditions. To conclude, genetic resistance could provide adequate control of FHB, guaranteeing the successful protection of wheat quality. However, the possibility of confounding factors influencing genetic and cultivation conditions must be considered, and further research is needed to understand their interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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17 pages, 2887 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Profile and Activity against Fusarium Species of Tamarix gallica Bark Aqueous Ammonia Extract
by Eva Sánchez-Hernández, Vicente González-García, Adriana Correa-Guimarães, José Casanova-Gascón, Jesús Martín-Gil and Pablo Martín-Ramos
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020496 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1899
Abstract
French tamarisk, Tamarix gallica L. (family Tamaricaceae) is a deciduous tree that, like other halophytes, grows in a wide variety of saline habitats thanks to its powerful phenolics-based antioxidant system. Given that antioxidant properties are usually linked to the presence of compounds [...] Read more.
French tamarisk, Tamarix gallica L. (family Tamaricaceae) is a deciduous tree that, like other halophytes, grows in a wide variety of saline habitats thanks to its powerful phenolics-based antioxidant system. Given that antioxidant properties are usually linked to the presence of compounds with antifungal properties, in the work presented herein the antimicrobial activity of T. gallica bark extract was investigated against four phytopathogenic species of genus Fusarium. According to the results of gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy, the phytochemical profile of the aqueous ammonia extract included 1-(2,4,6-trihydroxyphenyl)-2-pentanone; 3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxycinnam aldehyde; trans-squalene; 4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxy-benzaldehyde; dihydro-3-methylene-2,5-furandione; 1-(4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-ethanone; and 4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxy-benzoic acid as main constituents. Concerning in vitro antifungal activity, EC90 effective concentrations in the 335–928 μg·mL−1 range were obtained against F. acuminatum, F. culmorum, F. equiseti, and F. graminearum, remarkably lower than those of two conventional fungicides (viz. mancozeb and fosetyl-Al). The antifungal activity of the extract was tested further in wheat and maize grain protection bioassays, confirming that the treatment effectively controlled F. graminearum at a concentration of 375 µg·mL−1. Given this promising activity, T. gallica bark extracts may be susceptible to valorization as a natural and sustainable biorational for Fusarium spp. control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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15 pages, 5346 KiB  
Article
Host Susceptibility of CIMMYT’s International Spring Wheat Lines to Crown and Root Rot Caused by Fusarium culmorum and F. pseudograminearum
by Fatih Özdemir
Agronomy 2022, 12(12), 3038; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12123038 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
The destructive soilborne Fusarium species is one of the most serious challenges facing agriculture. Mycotoxins produced by Fusarium spp. can induce both acute and chronic toxic effects on humans and animals. Massive investments have been made in the last few decades to develop [...] Read more.
The destructive soilborne Fusarium species is one of the most serious challenges facing agriculture. Mycotoxins produced by Fusarium spp. can induce both acute and chronic toxic effects on humans and animals. Massive investments have been made in the last few decades to develop an appropriate management strategy to control Fusarium species in cereals, particularly in wheat, using genetic resistance and other practices, with varied outcomes. The purpose of this research was to find new sources of resistance to both Fusarium culmorum and F. pseudograminearum, which are wheat’s most destructive pathogens in seedlings and adult plants stages. In this study, 26 lines were selected and promoted from a total of 200 spring wheat germplasm received from CIMMYT Mexico plus 6 local check lines. The 32 lines were screened for their resistance reactions to both Fusarium species under different environmental conditions. The discriminant factorial analysis indicated that 7, 12, and 5 were resistant lines against F. culmorum under field, greenhouse, and growth room conditions, respectively. Four lines, L12, L19, L21, and L26, were found to be jointly resistant at the adult and seedling stages in the field and greenhouse. On the other hand, only moderately resistant lines were found for F. pseudograminearum but not completely resistant, which was limited to growth room conditions. Interestingly, five lines (L10, L13, L17, L25, and L28) have shown resistant properties to both Fusarium species. To further evaluate the yield performance of the best-selected 26 lines plus 6 check lines, field trials were conducted under ± F. culmorum inoculum. The highest yield values were obtained from three check lines, as well as the L26, which showed consistency in its reaction to F. culmorum under both field and greenhouse conditions, and produced a high yield (5342 kg/ha). Based on the result obtained, L26 showed a high potential to improve wheat yield and resistance to F. culmorum-caused root and crown rot; therefore, it should be used in wheat crossing programs. Having Fusarium-resistant varieties will ultimately reduce crown rot symptoms and increase grain quality by reducing mycotoxin levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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22 pages, 4960 KiB  
Article
Photosynthetic Efficiency in Flag Leaves and Ears of Winter Wheat during Fusarium Head Blight Infection
by Zorana Katanić, Selma Mlinarić, Nataša Katanić, Josipa Ćosić and Valentina Španić
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2415; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11122415 - 27 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most serious fungal diseases of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). It causes major reduction of grain yield and quality, while the safety of wheat products is at risk due to mycotoxin contaminations. To contribute to [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most serious fungal diseases of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). It causes major reduction of grain yield and quality, while the safety of wheat products is at risk due to mycotoxin contaminations. To contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms governing more efficient defense strategies against FHB, an evaluation of photosynthetic efficiency was performed during different phases of infection, i.e., before visual symptoms occur, at the onset and after the development of disease symptoms. Six different winter wheat varieties were artificially inoculated with the most significant causal agents of FHB (Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum) at two different locations. Photosynthetic efficiency was assessed in flag leaves and ears of inoculated and untreated (control) plants based on measurements of chlorophyll a fluorescence rise kinetics and the calculation of JIP-test parameters. Obtained results indicate that the response of wheat to Fusarium infection includes changes in photosynthetic efficiency which can encompass alternating reductions and increases in photosynthetic performance during the course of the infection in both flag leaves and ears. FHB-induced photosynthetic adjustments were shown to be somewhat variety-specific, but location was shown to be a more significant factor in modulating the response of wheat to Fusarium infection. Changes in chlorophyll a fluorescence rise kinetics could be detected prior to visible symptoms of the disease. Therefore, this method could be applied for the early detection of Fusarium infection, particularly the analysis of L-band appearance, which showed a similar response in all inoculated plants, regardless of variety or location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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19 pages, 2908 KiB  
Article
Fusarium Secondary Metabolite Content in Naturally Produced and Artificially Provoked FHB Pressure in Winter Wheat
by Katarina Sunic, Tihomir Kovac, Ante Loncaric, Jurislav Babic, Michael Sulyok, Rudolf Krska, Georg Drezner and Valentina Spanic
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2239; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112239 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an important disease of wheat and production of mycotoxins makes it a major threat in most wheat-producing areas worldwide. This study aimed to identify the impact of epidemic FHB conditions (usage of artificial Fusarium inoculation) on mycotoxin levels [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an important disease of wheat and production of mycotoxins makes it a major threat in most wheat-producing areas worldwide. This study aimed to identify the impact of epidemic FHB conditions (usage of artificial Fusarium inoculation) on mycotoxin levels in unprocessed wheat. Fusarium levels were monitored at two locations in two treatments (natural infection and inoculation with Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum) where 13 mycotoxins were evaluated by LC/MS-MS in six winter wheat varieties. Due to favorable conditions for infection with Fusarium fungi during the flowering period at location Tovarnik, wheat varieties had higher disease severity and increased mycotoxin accumulation, compared to Osijek. The most abundant mycotoxins in treatment with inoculation with Fusarium fungi were deoxynivalenol (DON), culmorin (CUL) and hydroxyculmorins. In treatment with natural infection, DON did not exceed maximum limits set by EU. Varieties with lower initial resistance accumulated DON even in naturally infected samples at Tovarnik. These results highlighted the impact of environment variation in the production of Fusarium mycotoxins where FHB initial resistance had a higher impact on the accumulation of mycotoxins than general resistance. Furthermore, wheat samples with higher DON concentration also contained elevated levels of CUL and hydroxyculmorins, showing that CUL can have a possible role in Fusarium virulence. The FHB evaluations provide important information about the genetic resistance of wheat varieties, as well as risk assessment considering mycotoxin accumulation in epidemic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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14 pages, 1765 KiB  
Article
Disease Severity, Resistance Analysis, and Expression Profiling of Pathogenesis-Related Protein Genes after the Inoculation of Fusarium equiseti in Wheat
by Hakim Manghwar, Amjad Hussain, Qurban Ali, Muhammad Hamzah Saleem, Muyassar H. Abualreesh, Aishah Alatawi, Shafaqat Ali and Muhammad Farooq Hussain Munis
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2124; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112124 - 23 Oct 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2937
Abstract
Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is an important cereal crop, grown throughout the temperate and in some tropical and sub-tropical zones, at higher elevations. Several biotic and abiotic factors influence the production of wheat. In the present study, two wheat varieties have been [...] Read more.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is an important cereal crop, grown throughout the temperate and in some tropical and sub-tropical zones, at higher elevations. Several biotic and abiotic factors influence the production of wheat. In the present study, two wheat varieties have been subjected to disease severity and resistance analysis against Fusarium equiseti. Disease severity analysis revealed Shafaq-2006 to be more resistant than Sahar-2006. Both varieties were further subjected to the expression analysis of six important defense-related genes by RT-PCR and quantitative real-time PCR. This analysis revealed that PR-1, TLP, Chitinase, and β-1,3-glucanase genes were highly expressed in Shafaq-2006 and possibly play a significant role in its defense mechanism. In addition, biochemical and physiochemical parameters were also studied to further explore the difference between resistant and susceptible varieties. With total proline and protein contents, sugar and chlorophyll contents also increased significantly in resistant variety. Likewise, higher relative water content, total plant length, and the high root–shoot ratio was observed in resistant plants, compared to susceptible wheat plants. These increases in chemical and physiological parameters might be related to the activation of the defense mechanism due to the higher expression of PR genes in the resistant wheat variety. These genes can further be employed for cloning into wheat and other transgenic crops to develop resistance against F. equiseti. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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17 pages, 3263 KiB  
Article
Fusarium Head Blight Infestation in Relation to Winter Wheat End-Use Quality—A Three-Year Study
by Valentina Spanic, Kresimir Dvojkovic, Jurislav Babic, Georg Drezner and Zvonimir Zdunic
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081648 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2247
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the major threats for wheat production worldwide. It reduces yield, quality, and feeding value of wheat grains. In addition, mycotoxins produced by Fusarium pathogens can have a negative effect on livestock and human health. The aim [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the major threats for wheat production worldwide. It reduces yield, quality, and feeding value of wheat grains. In addition, mycotoxins produced by Fusarium pathogens can have a negative effect on livestock and human health. The aim of this study was to assess changes in technological quality traits and end-use quality of winter wheat varieties after artificial inoculation with Fusarium spp. over three years. Differences in dough development duration and extensibility were measured as the means of relative reductions due to different environments and varieties’ characteristics. Differences in dough softening during kneading were determined as the means of relative increases due to FHB inoculation. In addition, dough had reduced strength, was stickier, and therefore was more difficult to handle, due to a decrease of the average energy value and resistance to extension in FHB-inoculated wheat, compared to naturally infected plants. Dough development time, stability, and resistance usually varied in a similar way, with FHB-resistant varieties showing a good response to FHB inoculation and maintaining good quality. Increasing the level of Fusarium spp. contamination in more FHB-susceptible wheat varieties worsened their technological quality, primarily, the sedimentation value and the gluten index, and hence had a negative effect on the rheological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

23 pages, 1887 KiB  
Review
Potential Role and Involvement of Antioxidants and Other Secondary Metabolites of Wheat in the Infection Process and Resistance to Fusarium spp.
by Jana Chrpová, Matyáš Orsák, Petr Martinek, Jaromír Lachman and Martina Trávníčková
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2235; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112235 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2393
Abstract
This article provides a summary of current knowledge about wheat metabolites that may affect resistance against Fusarium head blight (FHB). The mechanisms of resistance, the roles of secondary metabolites in wheat defense, and future directions for breeding are assessed. The soluble phenols play [...] Read more.
This article provides a summary of current knowledge about wheat metabolites that may affect resistance against Fusarium head blight (FHB). The mechanisms of resistance, the roles of secondary metabolites in wheat defense, and future directions for breeding are assessed. The soluble phenols play an important role in redox regulation in plant tissues and can act as antimicrobial compounds. The color of cereal hulls and grains is caused by such natural pigments as anthocyanins in the aleurone, endosperm, and pericarp layers of the grain. Phenolic acids, alkylresorcinols, and phytohormones actively participate in the defense system, whereas carotenoids show various effects against Fusarium species that are positively correlated with the levels of their mycotoxins. Pathogen infestation of vegetative tissues induces volatile organic compounds production, which can provide defensive functions to infested wheat. The efficient use of native resistance in the wheat gene pool, introgression of resistant alleles, and implementation of modern genotypic strategies to increase levels of native secondary metabolites with antifungal properties can enhance the FHB resistance of new varieties. Expanding the breeding interest in the use of forms with different grain color and plant organs can be a potential benefit for the creation of lines with increased resistance to various stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment and Management of Fusarium Disease in Wheat)
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