In order to explore the early detection of mycotoxins in wheat three standardized approaches (Fusarium disease severity, PCR assays for Fusarium spp. identification and mycotoxin quantification) and a novel untargeted metabolomics strategy were jointly assessed. In the first phase of this research, standardized approaches were able to quantify mycotoxins and identify Fusarium spp. Then, an UHPLC-QTOF metabolic fingerprinting method was developed to investigate plant-pathogen cross-talk. At the same time, chemometrics analysis demonstrated to be a powerful tool in order to distinguish low and strong infection levels. Combining these results, the cross-talk plant pathogen related to the early detection of mycotoxins was discovered. As a rapid response to fungal infection an overexpression of phosphatidic acids was discovered. By contrast, when the infection became stronger an increase of oxylipins and diacylglycerols was revealed.
- Liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry
- Plant-pathogen cross-talk