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In Fungal biology

Fusarium-controlling fungicides are necessary to limit crop loss. Little is known about the effect of antifungal formulations at sub-lethal doses, and their interaction with abiotic factors, on Fusarium culmorum and F. proliferatum development and on zearalenone and fumonisin biosynthesis, respectively. In the present study different treatments based on sulfur, trifloxystrobin and demethylation inhibitor fungicides (cyproconazole, tebuconazole and prothioconazole) under different environmental conditions, in Maize Extract Medium, are assayed in vitro. Several machine learning methods (neural networks, random forest and extreme gradient boosted trees) have been applied for the first time for modeling growth of F. culmorum and F. proliferatum and zearalenone and fumonisin production, respectively. The most effective treatment was prothioconazole, 250 g/L + tebuconazole, 150 g/L. Effective doses of this formulation for reduction or total growth inhibition ranged as follows ED50 0.49-1.70, ED90 2.57-6.02 and ED100 4.0-8.0 µg/mL, depending on the species, water activity and temperature. Overall, the growth rate and mycotoxin levels in cultures decreased when doses increased. Some treatments in combination with certain aw and temperature values significantly induced toxin production. The extreme gradient boosted tree was the model able to predict growth rate and mycotoxin production with minimum error and maximum R2 value.

Tarazona Andrea, Mateo Eva M, Gómez José V, Romera David, Mateo Fernando


Effective doses, Fumonisins, Fungicides, Fusarium spp, Predictive mycology, Zearalenone