Response of oat genotypes to fusarium head blight in eastern Canada
Recent investigations in northern Europe and western Canada suggested that mycotoxins caused by Fusarium head blight (FHB) could be a potential problem for oat (Avena sativa L.) production and oat food safety. Here we report studies conducted in eastern Canada to address this issue. In one study, oat genotypes of diverse origin were evaluated for grain and groat deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination owing to artificial FHB inoculation at Ottawa, ON, in 2006 and 2007. In a separate study, oat genotypes tested in the yearly Quebec Oat Registration and Recommendation Trials were evaluated for DON contamination due to artificial inoculation in Quebec from 2003 to 2008. Deoxynivalenol was detected in all tested genotypes, and up to 43 µg g–1 of DON was observed in the oat grain. Up to 86% of the DON in the oat grain was removed by dehulling. However, some genotypes still retained up to 9 µg g–1 of DON in the groat. Genotype ranking in DON content was relatively consistent across years, planting dates, and experiments, and genotypes with consistently low and high DON levels were identified. It was concluded that FHB is a potential problem for oat production and oat food safety under high FHB pressures; however, the severity of this problem needs to be further assessed by extensive monitoring of the DON level under natural conditions. The most susceptible genotypes identified in this study can be useful for this purpose.