Searching molecular determinants of sensitivity differences towards four demethylase inhibitors in Fusarium graminearum field strains



M. Pasquali, M. Pallez-Barthel, and M. Beyer


Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, vol. 164, pp. 209-220, 2020


Demethylase inhibitors (DMIs) also referred to as azoles or triazoles are currently the main fungicides used for controlling Fusarium diseases and associated toxins in cereals. DMIs also represent an important class of fungicides used in the medical domain. The level of sensitivity of a set of F. graminearum strains (n = 23), collected over the period 1994-2010 in Luxembourg, Germany, Canada, USA, Italy and Belgium against three DMIs (cyproconazole, propiconazole, tebuconazole) used in agriculture and one DMI used in medicine (tioconazole) was assessed using a microplate test. Median molar EC50 values varied 113-fold among DMIs and on average 11-fold within DMIs with cyproconazole and tebuconazole being the least and the most effective ones, respectively. The EC50 values of the two DMIs registered for use against Fusarium species on cereals (propiconazole and tebuconazole) were significantly correlated (r = 0.597**), while no evidence for cross-resistance was obtained for other fungicide combinations. Haplotypes for CYP51A and CYP51C were defined based on snps determining amino acid variations in the two genes. EC50 values of strains with the CYP51A haplotype A0 and the CYP51C haplotype D1 varied greatly for the agricultural DMIs tebuconazole, propiconazole and cyproconazole, but not for the medical DMI tioconazole. None of the mutations and snps that were previously reported to be associated with resistance towards propiconazole was unambiguously related with resistance to tioconazole, because the mutations and snps were found in strains with low as well as with high EC50 values. Our results show that (1) DMI sensitivity of F. graminearum mycelium has been largely stable between 1994 and 2010, (2) effects of snps on sensitivity towards one DMI detected in one set of strains cannot be extrapolated to other DMIs and sets of strains and (3) F. graminearum strains responded differently to DMIs used in agriculture and to a representative of a medical DMI with no evidence for cross-resistance.



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