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Nutrigenomics is the study of how constituents of the diet interact with genes, and their products, to alter phenotype and, conversely, how genes and their products metabolise these constituents into nutrients, antinutrients, and bioactive compounds. Results from molecular and genetic epidemiological studies indicate that dietary unbalance can alter gene–nutrient interactions in ways that increase the risk of developing chronic disease. The interplay of human genetic variation and environmental factors will make identifying causative genes and nutrients a formidable, but not intractable, challenge. We provide specific recommendations for how to best meet this challenge and discuss the need for new methodologies and the use of comprehensive analyses of nutrient–genotype interactions involving large and diverse populations. The objective of the present paper is to stimulate discourse and collaboration among nutrigenomic researchers and stakeholders, a process that will lead to an increase in global health and wellness by reducing health disparities in developed and developing countries.
Fusarium graminearum and F. pseudograminearum are important plant pathogens in New Zealand and around the world. Headblight and crown rot diseases of cereals caused by these species are responsible for large economic losses due to reduction in seed quality and contamination of grain with tricothecene mycotoxins. In the current study we have used two different molecular phylogenetic approaches, AFLPs and gene genealogies, to gain insight into the evolutionary relationships between F. graminearum, and F. pseudograminearum in New Zealand. The worldwide genetic diversity of F. graminearum clade is represented by at least eight biogeographically distinct species (previously designated as lineages of F. graminearum). Our analysis demonstrated that this clade is represented by F. graminearum (=F. graminearum Lineage 7) and F. cortaderiae (=F. graminearum Lineage 8) in New Zealand. Through our analysis we also confirm the presence of F. pseudograminearum in New Zealand as a first record for this organism. Information on species is necessary for preventing the inadvertent intercontinental introduction of genetically unique foreign pathogens associated with world trade. The ability to place species information into a worldwide context enabled postulation that the New Zealand representatives of F. graminearum clade originated from at least two regions, and probably on at least two hosts. Correlation of species descriptions with biogeographical and host information revealed evidence for co-localisation of F. graminearum clade species with potential for genetic outcrossing in the field. Mycotoxin analysis showed F. graminearum (=lineage 7) isolates produce either nivalenol (NIV) or deoxnivalenol (DON). In contrast, F. cortaderiae isolates produced only NIV. These findings support earlier observations that mycotoxin production in the F. graminearum clade is not species specific, but suggest maintenance of chemotype diversity through speciation may have been restricted to a subset of species.
The relationship between trichothecene production and pathogenicity was investigated for 29 isolates of Fusarium tumidum, a
potential bioherbicide for gorse (Ulex europaeus) and broom (Cytisus scoparius) in New Zealand. All isolates originally derived from
broom produced high levels of T-2 tetraol derivatives when grown on ground maize kernels and pearl barley grains, compared with
isolates from gorse. Low amounts of scirpentriol derivatives were also produced by both groups of isolates. No nivalenol and
deoxynivalenol derivatives were detected in any of the culture extracts. A subset of isolates cultured on gorse and broom tissue
produced only small amounts of T-2 tetraol derivatives relative to the amounts produced in grain cultures. Overall, isolates from
broom were more aggressive towards both hosts than isolates from gorse, but the pathogenicity of isolates was not correlated with
their capacity to produce large amounts of T-2 tetraol derivatives in culture. Two isolates from gorse were highly aggressive
towards both weeds. These isolates offer prospects for the development of a safe bioherbicide that could target two major weeds in
New Zealand, as trichothecenes were not detected from them at the higher concentrations.
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