Recent population changes of Fusarium head blight pathogens: drivers and implications

Esteban Valverde-Bogantes, Andreia Bianchini, Joshua R. Herr, Devin J. Rose, Stephen N. Wegulo, Heather E. Hallen-Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Several Fusarium species cause Fusarium head blight (FHB), a devastating disease that affects wheat and other small grain cereals. Besides causing significant yield losses, FHB pathogens reduce the quality of the grain and may produce mycotoxins that are harmful to both humans and animals. The development of effective management strategies for this disease requires an understanding of the composition of the FHB pathogen populations, which is important because different populations could be affected selectively. Recent reports of shifts in populations of FHB pathogens have shown that these populations are dynamic and change continuously, often associated with increased yield losses or changes in the mycotoxins produced in the grain. These population shifts include: replacement of F. graminearum by F. poae in Italy, hypothesized to be due to variation in environmental conditions; replacement of F. culmorum by F. graminearum in Europe, associated with climate change and increased maize production; a more aggressive and toxigenic F. asiaticum 3-ADON population replacing the existing NIV population in China; and a highly toxigenic population composed mainly of F. graminearum 3-ADON isolates replacing the existing 15-ADON population in North America. Additionally, reports of recent introductions of foreign species or populations into new areas include: F. asiaticum outside of Asia, F. graminearum NIV isolates in the USA and Luxembourg, F. graminearum 15-ADON isolates in Norway, F. graminearum in South Korea, F. boothii in Europe and USA, F. vorosii in Hungary and F. cortaderiae in New Zealand and Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-329
Number of pages15
JournalCanadian Journal of Plant Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020


  • FHB
  • Fusarium graminearum species complex
  • mycotoxins
  • trichothecenes
  • wheat
  • wheat scab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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