Savignac et al 2023

Carotenoids in maize affect the production of TCTB by Fusarium graminearum and contribute to the resistance to Giberella Ear Rot

Our new paper in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Savignac J.-M., Atanasova V., Chereau S., Ducos C., Gallegos N., Ortega V., Ponts N., Richard-Forget F. (2023) Carotenoids occurring in maize affect the redox homeostasis of Fusarium graminearum and its production of type B trichothecene mycotoxins: New insights supporting their role in maize resistance to Gibberella Ear Rot. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In press.


ABSTRACT: Fusarium graminearum is the causal agent of Gibberella ear rot (GER) in maize, a devastating fungal disease resulting in yield reduction and contamination of grains with type B trichothecene (TCTB) mycotoxins. Reducing GER damage requires the
implementation of an integrated management strategy in which the use of resistant maize genotypes is a key factor. The present study aimed at providing new phenotyping tools to improve breeding pipelines by investigating the yet understudied contribution of
carotenoids to GER resistance. Here, we demonstrated for the first time the efficiency of carotenoid extracts from various maize genotypes to inhibit the production of TCTB by F. graminearum. We further suggested that zeaxanthin could be a key actor of this
inhibition efficiency, notably via a negative transcriptional control of several biosynthetic genes of the TCTB pathway. Besides, we demonstrated that zeaxanthin treatments led to profound perturbations in the fungal redox homeostasis by affecting the expression
of key genes encoding ROS detoxifying enzymes, several of them being involved in F. graminearum virulence during plant infection. Altogether, our data support the contribution of carotenoids to the mechanisms employed by maize to counteract F. graminearum
infection and its production of TCTB.

Publication date: 14 February 2023 | By: Communication MycSA