Fusarium damage (FUS DMG)

Description

Fusarium damage is an objective grading factor. Rain encourages the development of fungi such as Fusarium. All classes of wheat have tolerances for Fusarium damage.

Photographs

Photograph of Fusarium-damaged kernels in a sample of CWRS wheat
Fusarium-damaged wheat is characterized by thin or shrunken chalk-like kernels, as shown in this sample of Wheat, Canada Western Red Spring.
Photograph of magnified Fusarium-damaged kernel of CWRS wheat
Fusarium-damaged kernels have a white or pinkish fibrous growth, as shown in this kernel of Wheat, Canada Western Red Spring. This growth may be visible only under magnification.
Many stalks of pale brown wheat. One of the heads of wheat in the box has pink kernels.
A wheat field that shows signs of Fusarium damage. The white box highlights a head of wheat with pink-coloured kernels, a typical sign of Fusarium damage.

Cause

Fusarium head blight in Canada is caused by four species of fungus, of which the most important is Fusarium graminearum F. graminearum has been found mostly in black soil zones, which are also the areas that receive the most precipitation. Outbreaks of Fusarium head blight are also a safety concern because of mycotoxins in Fusarium-infected grain.

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