Diagnosis: the first step of control

  1. Díaz Mínguez, J.M. 1
  2. Alves-Santos, F.M.
  3. Ramos, B.
  4. García Sánchez, M. A.
  5. Martín-Rodrigues, N.
  6. Nuñez-Corcuera, B.
  7. De Vega-Bartol, J.J
  8. Sunko, S. A. 1
  9. Benito, E.P. 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Salamanca

    Universidad de Salamanca

    Salamanca, España

    ROR https://ror.org/02f40zc51

Control of Fusarium diseases
  1. F. M. Alves-Santos (coord.)
  2. J.J. Diez (coord.)

Publisher: Research SingPost

ISBN: 978-81-7895-460-8

Year of publication: 2011

Pages: 17-39

Type: Book chapter


The genus Fusarium is spread worldwide and collectively represents the most important group of plant pathogens. The damage caused in many economically important crops may be the result of the colonization of the vegetative tissues and/or the production of mycotoxins. In either case, by the time the symptoms are evident efficient control of the pathogen is seldom feasible. Therefore, disease management is mainly based on the prevention of the disease, which requires of rapid and reliable diagnostic methods. Conventional methods to identify fungi rely on the identification of disease symptoms, the isolation and culturing of the suspected causal agent and its laboratory identification by different tests. All these steps are time consuming and cumbersome, which has forced a search for molecular approaches to fungal diagnostics. In this review we emphasize the importance of rapid and accurate detection of pathogenic fusaria, and examine the features, advantages and drawbacks of the most important molecular tools developed for identification and quantification, such as PCR, real-time PCR and array technology. We also focus on the importance of the targets for molecular detection and identification. The recent advances on the molecular basis of host-pathogen interaction and the increasing knowledge of the biosynthetic pathways involved in toxin production, together with the availability of sequenced Fusarium genomes, offer an arsenal of targets for the development of highly specific and robust detection methods. The improvement of currently available molecular tools, and the impact of emergent technologies, such as biosensors and massive-sequencing, will facilitate new diagnostic methods to achieve crops free of pathogens.