The phytotoxicity of Fusarium metabolites: An update since 1989

Michelle McLean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The present article summarises the published phytotoxic effects of several Fusarium metabolites (mycotoxins, phytotoxins, antibiotics and pigments) since 1989. The phytotoxicity of many of the commonly isolated metabolites cannot be disputed, but their role in pathogenesis of Fusarium- induced plant diseases is uncertain. Plant species/varieties differ in their susceptibility resistance to these toxins in vitro, as well as to Fusarium pathogens under field conditions. Such variations in plant response may reflect resistance mechanisms that operate at several levels, including an initial ability to prevent fungal invasion; prevention of fungal spread and toxin tolerance or degradation. Little is known about the mode of action of most of these metabolites on either animal or plant cells. Several novel Fusarium metabolites have been isolated in the past few years. Many are toxic to animals and cell lines, but assessment of their phytotoxicity has largely been neglected. Since many plant pathogenic Fusaria produce a plethora of metabolites, the additive or synergistic actions of toxins in combination must be considered in plant pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


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