Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version



Engle, J. S., Lipps, P. E., Graham, T. L., and Boehm, M. J. 2004. Effects of choline, betaine, and wheat floral extracts on growth of Fusarium graminearum. Plant Dis. 88:175-180.


Open Access licensed.


Fusarium head blight has been more severe when infection occurs during anthesis, indicating that floral organs may be important infection courts. Choline acetate and glycinebetaine have been extracted from wheat and reported to be growth stimulants of Fusarium graminearum. They are hypothesized to enhance infection and tissue colonization. Growth of F. graminearum was examined on media amended with extracts from floral parts of nine wheat genotypes with various Fusarium head blight resistance levels. Results indicated no significant effect of anther, palea, or lemma extracts on radial growth when compared with unamended controls. Effects on spore germination and hyphal growth of F. graminearum by choline, betaine, and an equimolar mixture at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 1,000 μM also were examined. Spore germination was not significantly (P ≤ 0.05) affected by choline, betaine, or a combination of the compounds compared with unamended controls. Radial hyphal growth also was not consistently affected (P ≤ 0.05) by choline or betaine when compared with controls. Equimolar mixtures of the two compounds showed significant slight reduction in growth rate at higher concentrations when compared with controls. The reduction in growth rate was due to higher concentrations of betaine. Results of this study indicate that endogenous compounds in floral parts may not be associated with wheat resistance to F. graminearum.