|Agriculture & Agrifood Canada
Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre
960 Carling Ave
Ottawa, ON K1A0C6
|Office phone: 613-759-7619
Fusarium graminearum is a pathogen that infects small grain cereals and deposits mycotoxins in cereals. The accumulation of mycotoxins reduce the value of crops and are toxic to animals. Over the past ten years, we have established research program to study diseases in cereals caused by the phytopathogen Fusarium graminearum and develop technologies to mitigate diseases associated with this fungus. F. graminearum is a causal agent of the head blight diseases of small grain cereals and the mycotoxins that accumulate in the infected cereals represent a major loss of income for farmers worldwide. Our program employs many aspects of genetics and genomics in fundamental and technology transfer research. Mycotoxins are the most significant food safety issue in the international grain marketplace and new stringent regulations on toxin levels in grain will significantly affect the competitiveness of grain in international trade. The development of monocot crops such as wheat and triticale for novel uses (biorefinery, enhanced health products) depends on a sustainable yield, high quality, and minimal pathogen and mycotoxin contamination. Knowledge of the host/pathogen interaction will greatly improve our ability to combine natural resistance strategies and design novel ones in crop germplasm, or interfere with pathogenesis using sustainable crop management protocols (e.g. biological control). Finally, the research program has added to our knowledge of secondary metabolites produced by Fusarium in crops, which have impacts on food safety and monitoring.