Overview

Brief Summary

Fusarium oxysporum Schlecht. as emended by Snyder and Hansen [1] comprises all the species, varieties and forms recognized by Wollenweber and Reinking [2] within an infrageneric grouping called section Elegans. While the species, as defined by Snyder and Hansen, has been widely accepted for more than 50 years [3][4], more recent work indicates this taxon is actually a genetically heterogeneous polytypic morphospecies [5][6] whose strains represent some of the most abundant and widespread microbes of the global soil microflora [7], although this last statement has not been proven or supported by actual data. These remarkably diverse and adaptable fungi have been found in soils ranging from the Sonoran Desert, to tropical and temperate forests, grasslands and soils of the tundra [8]. F. oxysporum strains are ubiquitous soil inhabitants that have the ability to exist as saprophytes, and degrade lignin [9][10] and complex carbohydrates [11][12][13] associated with soil debris. They are also pervasive plant endophytes that can colonize plant roots [14][15] and may even protect plants or be the basis of disease suppression [16][17.] Although the predominant role of these fungi in native soils may be as harmless or even beneficial plant endophytes or soil saprophytes, many strains within the F. oxysporum complex are pathogenic to plants, especially in agricultural settings.

Pathogenic strains of F. oxysporum have been studied for more than 100 years. The host range of these fungi is extremely broad, and includes animals, ranging from arthropods [18] to humans [19], as well as plants, including a range of both gymnosperms and angiosperms. While collectively, plant pathogenic F. oxysporum strains have a broad host range, individual isolates usually cause disease only on a narrow range of plant species. This observation has led to the idea of "special form" or forma speciales in F. oxysporum. Formae speciales have been defined as "...an informal rank in Classification.....used for parasitic fungi characterized from a physiological standpoint (e.g. by the ability to cause disease in particular hosts) but scarcely or not at all from a morphological standpoint. As a category, forma specialis is mentioned in, but not regulated by, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and sometimes it has been inconsistently applied. Exhaustive host range studies also have been conducted for relatively few formae speciales or F. oxysporum [20]. For more information on Fusarium oxysporum as a plant pathogen, see Fusarium wilt. Different strains of F. oxysporum have been used in the purpose of producing nanomaterials (especially Silver nanoparticles).

  • [1] Snyder, W.C. and Hansen, H.N. 1940. The species concept in Fusarium. Amer. J. Bot. 27:64-67.
  • [2] Wollenweber, H.W. and Reinking, O.A. 1935. Die Fusarien, ihre Beschreibung, Schadwirkung und Bekampfung. P. Parey, Berlin. 365 pp.
  • [3] Booth, C. 1971. The Genus Fusarium. Commonwealth Mycological Institute, Kew, Surrey, UK, 237 pp.
  • [4] Nelson, P.E., Toussoun, T.A. and Marasas, W.F.O. 1983. Fusarium species: An illustrated manual for identification. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park.
  • [5] O'Donnell, K. and Cigelnik, E. 1997. Two divergent intragenomic rDNA ITS2 types within a monophyletic lineage of the fungus Fusarium are nonorthologous. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 7:103-116.
  • [6] Waalwijk, C., De Koning, J.R.A., Baayen, R.P. and Gams, W. 1996. Discordant groupings of Fusarium spp. from section Elegans, Liseola and Dlaminia based on ribosomal ITS1 and ITS2 sequences. Mycologia 88:361-368.
  • [7] Gordon, T.R. and Martyn, R.D. 1997. The evolutionary biology of Fusarium oxysporum. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 35:111-128.
  • [8] Stoner, M.F. 1981. Ecology of Fusarium in noncultivated soils. Pages 276-286 in: Fusarium: Diseases, Biology, and Taxonomy. P.E. Nelson, T.A. Toussoun and R.J. Cook, eds. The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park.
  • [9] Rodriguez, A., Perestelo, F., Carnicero, A., Regalado, V., Perez, R., De la Fuente, G. and Falcon, M.A.1996. Degradation of natural lignins and lignocellulosic substrates by soil-inhabiting fungi imperfecti. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 21:213-219.
  • [10] Sutherland, J.B., Pometto, A.L. III and Crawford, D.L. 1983. Lignocellulose degradation by Fusarium species. Can. J. Bot. 61:1194-1198.
  • [11] Christakopoulos, P., Kekos, D., Macris, B.J., Claeyssens, M. and Bhat, M.K. 1995. Purification and mode of action of a low molecular mass endo-1,4-B-D-glucanase from Fusarium oxysporum. J. Biotechnol. 39:85-93.
  • [12] Christakopoulos, P., Nerinckx, W., Kekos, D., Macris, B. and Claeyssens, M. 1996. Purification and characterization of two low molecular mass alkaline xylanases from Fusarium oxysporum F3. J. Biotechnol. 51:181-180.
  • [13] Snyder, W.C. and Hansen, H.N. 1940. The species concept in Fusarium. Amer. J. Bot. 27:64-67.
  • [14] Gordon, T.R., Okamoto, D. and Jacobson, D.J. 1989. Colonization of muskmelon and nonsusceptible crops by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis and other species of Fusarium. Phytopathology 79:1095-1100.
  • [15] Katan, J. 1971. Symptomless carriers of the tomato Fusarium wilt pathogen. Phytopathology 61:1213-1217.
  • [16] Larkin, R.P., Hopkins, D.L. and Martin, F.N. 1993. Effect of successive watermelon plantings on Fusarium oxysporum and other microorganisms in soils suppressive and conducive to fusarium wilt of watermelon. Phytopathology 83:1097-1105.
  • [17] Lemanceau, P., Bakker, P.A.H.M., DeKogel, W.J., Alabouvette, C. and Schippers, B. 1993. Antagonistic effect of nonpathogenic Fusarium oxysporum Fo47 and pseudobactin 358 upon pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 59:74-82.
  • [18] Teetor-Barsch, G.H. and Roberts, D.W. 1983. Entomogenous Fusarium species. Mycopathologia 84:3-16.
  • [19 Nelson, P.E., Dignani, M.C. and Anaissie, E.J. 1994. Taxonomy, biology, and clinical aspects of Fusarium species. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 7:479-504.
  • [20] Kistler, H.C. 2001. Evolution of host specificity in Fusarium oxysporum. Pages 70-82 in: Fusarium: Paul E. Nelson Memorial Symposium. B.A. Summerell, J.F. Leslie, D. Backhouse, W.L. Bryden and L.W. Burgess, eds. The American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, MN.
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