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Effects of validamycin in controlling Fusarium head blight caused by Fusarium graminearum: Inhibition of DON biosynthesis and induction of host resistance

Li, Jing, Duan, Yabing, Bian, Chuanhong, Pan, Xiayan, Yao, Chengjie, Wang, Jianxin, Zhou, Mingguo
Pesticide biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.153 pp. 152-160
Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium head blight, Rhizoctonia, antibiotics, biosynthesis, deoxynivalenol, disease control, energy metabolism, enzyme activity, enzyme inhibition, field experimentation, fungi, glucose, mutants, pathogenesis-related proteins, pyruvic acid, toxigenic strains, trehalase, triazoles, virulence, wheat
Validamycin, known to interfere with fungal energy metabolism by inhibiting trehalase, has been extensively used to control plant diseases caused by Rhizoctonia spp. However, the effect of validamycin on controlling Fusarium graminearum has not been previously reported. In this study, when applied to F. graminearum in vitro, validamycin inhibited the synthesis of deoxynivalenol (DON), which is a mycotoxin and virulence factor, by decreasing trehalase activity and the production of glucose and pyruvate, which are precursors of DON biosynthesis. Because FgNTH encodes the main trehalase in F. graminearum, these effects were nullified in the FgNTH deletion mutant ΔFgNTH but restored in the complemented strain ΔFgNTHC. In addition, validamycin also increased the expression of pathogenesis-related genes (PRs) PR1, PR2, and PR5 in wheat, inducing resistance responses of wheat against F. graminearum. Therefore, validamycin exhibits dual efficacies on controlling Fusarium head blight (FHB) caused by F. graminearum: inhibition of DON biosynthesis and induction of host resistance. In addition, field trials further confirmed that validamycin increased FHB control and reduced DON contamination in grain. Control of FHB and DON contamination by validamycin increased when the antibiotic was applied with the triazole fungicide metconazole. Overall, this study is a successful case from foundational research to applied research, providing useful information for wheat protection programs against toxigenic fungi responsible for FHB and the consequent mycotoxin accumulation in grains.