Resistance to Fusarium langsethiae in Norwegian oats - SafeOats

Photo: Jafar Razzaghian / NIBIO
Active Last updated: 06.11.2018
End: apr 2020
Start: may 2016

Safe oats for food and feed through knowledge of the biology of F. langsethiae and development of methods to identify oat varieties with low content of HT2+T2. 

Status Active
Start - end date 01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020
Project manager Ingerd Skow Hofgaard
Total budget 10700000

Secondary objectives (1-8):

1. Norwegian oat varieties and breeding lines are ranked reliably based on the content of Fusarium langsethiae and HT2+T2 after natural infection

2. A method for investigating resistance to F. langsethiae in oats is established for greenhouse conditions

3.  A method for investigating resistance to F. langsethiae in oats is established for field conditions

4. Incidence of mycotoxins in different size fractions of oat grains is identified

5. Significance of F. langsethiae and HT2+T2 for seed quality are surveyed

6. Gene expression pathways associated with putative resistance to F. langsethiae are characterized

7. Selected phenological and physiological characteristics associated with resistance to F. langsethiae in oats are identified

8. Oat varieties with a low content of both DON and HT2+T2 are identified within the current Nordic germplasm

Safe Oats will give new insight into the biology of F. langsethiae and HT2+T2 accumulation in oats, and provide information on varietal differences in toxin levels. Moreover, SafeOats will develop resistance screening methods in collaboration with the main Norwegian and Swedish oat breeding companies, thus facilitating the phase-out of susceptible germplasm. Furthermore, the project will provide information whether there are varietal differences concerning the content of mycotoxins in different size fractions of oat grains, and whether seed borne inoculum might be a source of F. langsethiae infections. The results from SafeOats will thus benefit consumers nationally and internationally by providing tools to increase the share of high quality grain into the food and feed industry.

SafeOats Consortium 2017. Photo: Erling Fløistad / NIBIO

Publications in the project

Abstract

Over the recent decades, the Norwegian cereal industry has had major practical and financial challenges associated with the occurrence of Fusarium and mycotoxins in cereal grains. From 2011, payment reductions to farmers were implemented for oat grain lots with high levels of deoxynivalenol (DON). However, according to preliminary results by NIBIO, NMBU and Graminor, certain oat varieties with generally medium or low DON contamination, may contain high levels of HT-2 and T-2-toxins (HT2+T2). These mycotoxins, formed by Fusarium langsethiae, are considerably more toxic than DON. Resistance to F. langsethiae is not included in the variety screening in Norway. In 2016 a new project, SafeOats, was initiated. This project is led by NIBIO and is a collaboration between NIBIO, NMBU, Kimen, and the main Norwegian and Swedish breeding companies, Graminor and Lantmännen. Harper Adam University (UK) and Julius Kühn-Institut (Germany) are international collaborators. SafeOats will develop resistance screening methods in order to facilitate the phase-out of susceptible oat germplasm. Furthermore, SafeOats will give new insight into the biology of F. langsethiae and HT2+T2 accumulation in oats, and thus facilitate the choice of relevant control measures. The results from SafeOats will benefit consumers nationally and internationally by providing tools to increase the share of high quality grain into the food and feed industry. SafeOats is financed by The Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products/Agricultural Agreement Research Fund/Research Council of Norway with support from the industry partners Graminor, Lantmännen, Kimen, Felleskjøpet Agri, Felleskjøpet Rogaland Agder, Fiskå Mølle Moss, Norgesmøllene and Strand Unikorn/Norgesfor.

Abstract

Kornbransjen har gjennom flere år hatt store praktiske og økonomiske utfordringer knyttet til forekomst av Fusarium og mykotoksiner i korn. Fra 2011 har det vært pristrekk i havre ved høyt innhold av soppgiften deoksynivalenol (DON). Det er innført grenseverdier for innhold av DON i korn til mat og fôr. Imidlertid er det ikke alltid samsvar mellom innhold av DON og andre soppgifter i korn. Forskning ved Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi (NIBIO), Norges miljø- og biovitenskapelige universitet (NMBU) og planteforedlingsselskapet Graminor, viser at enkelte havresorter som får lite DON, kan inneholde mye av toksinene HT2 og T2. Disse mykotoksinene er vesentlig mer giftige enn DON og produseres av en nylig identifisert soppart, Fusarium langsethiae.

Abstract

The plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium langsethiae produces the highly potent mycotoxins HT-2 and T-2. Since these toxins are frequently detected at high levels in oat grain lots, they pose a considerable risk for food and feed safety in Norway, as well as in other north European countries. To reduce the risk of HT-2/T- 2-contaminated grain lots to enter the food and feed chain, it is important to identify factors that influence F. langsethiae infection and mycotoxin development in oats. However, the epidemiology of F. langsethiae is unclear. A three-year survey was performed to reveal more of the life cycle of F. langsethiae and its interactions with oats, other Fusarium species, as well as insects, mites and weeds. We searched for inoculum sources by quantifying the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in crop residues, weeds, and soil sampled from a selection of oat-fields. To be able to define the onset of infection, we analysed the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in oat plant material sampled at selected growth stages (between booting and maturation), as well as the amount of F. langsethiae DNA and HT-2 and T-2 toxins in the mature grain. We also studied the presence of possible insect- and mite vectors sampled at the selected growth stages using Berlese funnel traps. The different types of materials were also analysed for the presence F. graminearum DNA, the most important deoxynivalenol producer observed in Norwegian cereals, and which presence has shown a striking lack of correlation with the presence of F. langsethiae in oat. Results show that F. langsethiae DNA may occur in the oat plant already before heading and flowering. Some F. langsethiae DNA was observed in crop residues and weeds, though at relatively low levels. No Fusarium DNA was detected in soil samples. Of the arthropods that were associated with the collected oat plants, aphids and thrips species were dominating. Further details will be given at the meeting.