In the European coastal dunes, marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) is planted in order to control sand erosion. In the years 1986 to 1991, workers on the Wadden islands in the Netherlands planting marram grass showed lesions of skin and mucous membranes, suggesting a toxic reaction. Fusarium culmorum dominated the mycoflora of those marram grass culms that were used for planting. This plant material had been cut and stored for more than one week in the open. The Fusarium toxin deoxynivalenol (DON) was detected in the suspect marram grass culms. Isolated F. culmorum strains were able to produce DON in vitro in liquid culture as well as in experimentally inoculated wheat heads. Pathogenicity tests, toxin test as well as RAPD analysis showed that the F. culmorum strains were not specialized for marram grass but may form part of the West- European F. culmorum population infecting cereals and grasses. Storage on old sand-dunes with plant debris may have led to the high occurrence off: culmorum and contamination with DON. Marram grass culms should be obtained from young plantings on dunes on the seaward slopes and cut culms should not be stored. [KEYWORDS: marram grass; Ammophila arenaria; Fusarium culmorum; mycotoxicosis; deoxynivalenol; dermatitis; keratoconjunctivitis; sand-dunes; coastal soils Harmful soil organisms; ammophila-arenaria; coastal foredunes; colonization; wheat]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

ID: 68945