Utilizing volatile organic compounds for early detection of Fusarium circinatum

Ida Nordstrom* (Corresponding Author), Patrick Sherwood, Bjorn Bohman, Stephen Woodward, Donnie L. Peterson, Jonatan Niño Sánchez, Tamara Sánchez Gómez, Julio J. Diez, Michella Cleary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Fusarium circinatum, a fungal pathogen deadly to many Pinus species, can cause significant economic and ecological losses, especially if it were to become more widely established in Europe. Early detection tools with high-throughput capacity can increase our readiness to implement mitigation actions against new incursions. This study sought to develop a disease detection method based on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions to detect F. circinatum on different Pinus species. The complete pipeline applied here, entailing gas chromatography—mass spectrometry of VOCs, automated data analysis and machine learning, distinguished diseased from healthy seedlings of Pinus sylvestris and Pinus radiata. In P. radiata, this distinction was possible even before the seedlings became visibly symptomatic, suggesting the possibility for this method to identify latently infected, yet healthy looking plants. Pinus pinea, which is known to be relatively resistant to F. circinatum, remained asymptomatic and showed no changes in VOCs over 28 days. In a separate analysis of in vitro VOCs collected from different species of Fusarium, we showed that even closely related Fusarium spp. can be readily distinguished based on their VOC profiles. The results further substantiate the potential for volatilomics to be used for early disease detection and diagnostic recognition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21661
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

This study was financially supported by The Swedish Research Council Formas, Grant #2018-00966, Crafoordska stiftelsen Grant #20200631, Carl Tryggers Stiftelse för Vetenskaplig Forskning Grant 18:67, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, Stiftelsen fonden för skogsvetenskaplig forskning, Erasmus+ Staff mobility grant, Anna-Britta & Vadim Söderströms resestipendium and NordGen Forest SNS scholarships. J.N.S. was supported by The European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the MSCA agreement No 101068728. Thanks to dr. R.R. Vetukuri for providing F. graminearum, to the staff of Laboratorio de Técnicas Instrumentales, Universidad de Valladolid, for providing access to lab facilities and to J-E. Englund for assistance in making the experimental design.

Open access funding provided by Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.


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