Fusarium graminearum produces fruiting bodies on the surface of crop residues in the field. It turns out that the development of these perithecia is intimately tied to the host life cycle.
Fusarium graminearum produces many secondary metabolites. One of them functions as a pathogenicity factor to kill the plant. One is an estrogen mimick and will bind to the human estrogen receptor. There are more than 50 of these compounds, many unique to this species. What are they used for? How do they impact the life cycle? A primary focus of our lab is to answer these questions.