Physio-biochemical characterization of two wheat cultivars to Fusarium proliferatum infection
Wheat is a key global commodity in terms of acreage and tradeable value and as a staple in household diets. Many factors including biotic stress conditions have detrimental effects on global wheat production and yield. The increasing prevalence of biotic stress inflicted by fungal species such as Fusarium has significantly reduced yield and quality of cereal crops thus, threatening sustainable agriculture and food security. Interactions between wheat and Fusarium spp. such as Fusarium proliferatum triggers the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to levels toxic to the plant thus leading to oxidative damage and ultimate cellular death. In order to maintain redox homeostasis, plants rely on ROS-scavenging antioxidants (enzymatic and non-enzymatic) to control ROS molecules to levels less toxic to plants. This study investigated the impact of F. proliferatum on the physio-biochemical responses of two wheat cultivars (SST 015 and SST 088). Changes in seed germination, growth, biomass, chlorophyll and mineral contents were monitored. Furthermore, changes in ROS accumulation and antioxidant enzyme activity was measured in the shoots of both wheat cultivars.