FEMS microbiology letters

Accumulation of deoxynivalenol and its 15-acetylated form is significantly modulated by oxidative stress in liquid cultures of Fusarium graminearum.

PMID 16630263


Liquid cultures of Fusarium graminearum were supplemented with H2O2 or other oxidative compounds. The accumulation kinetics of the resulting trichothecenes were monitored. At non-lethal concentrations, the H2O2 treatments modulated toxin accumulation, dependent on the method of supplementation. When H2O2 was added at the same time as the inoculation, higher levels of toxins accumulated 30 days later. Conversely, adding H2O2 2 or 7 days after inoculation had little effect. When H2O2 was added daily over the course of the culture, the accumulation of trichothecenes was rapidly and strongly enhanced. The fungus may adapt to oxidative stress when the first exposure to H2O2 occurs at the beginning of the culture course. The highest toxin levels were measured when the H2O2 was added daily. The importance of the first hours of culture was confirmed: pre-treating conidia with H2O2 does not affect their germination kinetics but leads to a reduction in the yield of trichothecenes 40 days later. The H2O2 regulation of this trichothecene accumulation may be specific, as paraquat, another pro-oxidant compound, inhibits their production. Since H2O2 is a major component of the oxidative burst occurring in pathogen/host interactions, these data support the theory that trichothecenes may act as virulence factors.