Fusarium and aphids, friends or foes on their shared wheat host

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


Aphid infestation and feeding prior to infection of wheat by F. graminearium results in increased severity of Fusarium head blight disease and mycotoxins in grain. Volatiles produced by the host when is infected by F. graminearum, that is a deoxynivalenol producer, are repellent to aphids and the pathogen-pest interaction results in increased mortality and reduced fecundity of the pest. In contrast, volatiles by a nivalenol producer are attractive to the aphid, however the consequences of this interaction for the pest and the pathogen fitness remain unknown.
Fusarium poae, in contrast to F. graminearium, produces predominantly nivalenol and we hypothesise that this pathogen will benefit more than F. graminearum from the direct interaction with the pest. This project will aim to determine the outcome of host-mediated interactions between nivalenol or deoxynivalenol producers of different Fusarium species and aphids for disease, mycotoxins and pest/pathogen fitness. The student will carry out studies on the epidemiology of F. poae in relation to transmission and spread by insect vectors. Further biochemical and molecular studies will be performed to understand the host immune response to the pathogen and the pest.
This project has practical significance for crop protection as the pest and the pathogen occur simultaneously on wheat crops in field. Therefore findings will provide new knowledge of persistent field threats and the basis for future solutions for improved pest and disease control measures.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M008770/1 30/09/2015 31/10/2024
2270243 Studentship BB/M008770/1 30/09/2019 30/12/2023 Samuel Asamoah