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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF FUSARIUM VERTICILLIOIDES, FUMONISINS AND FUSARIUM DISEASES OF MAIZE

Location: Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens & Mycology Research Unit

Title: Analysis of fumonisin contamination and the presence of Fusarium in wheat with kernel black point disease in the United States

Authors
item Busman, Mark
item Desjardins, Anne
item Proctor, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Food Additives & Contaminants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 26, 2012
Publication Date: June 16, 2012
Citation: Busman, M., Desjardins, A.E., Proctor, R. 2012. Analysis of fumonisin contamination and the presence of Fusarium in wheat with kernel black point disease in the United States. Journal of Food Additives & Contaminants. 29(7):1092-1100.

Interpretive Summary: A survey was conducted to determine levels of the fumonisin mycotoxins in wheat exhibiting symptoms of black point. Black point is a widespread, but poorly understood, disease complex in wheat. In particular, black point tends to afflict wheat in wet years, or during irrigation. The survey includes analysis of toxin levels in symptomatic wheat from several US wheat growing areas. Further, wheat samples were evaluated for presence of toxin producing fungi. While the survey found toxin-producing fungi to be common in black point wheat, only low levels of fumonisins were detected in the survey samples. This work addresses questions regarding appropriate use of black point wheat by wheat producers and millers interested in assuring the safety of the consumption of wheat products for use in human diets.

Technical Abstract: The ability of Fusarium proliferatum to cause wheat black point was previously established, but natural contamination of black point wheat with F. proliferatum and fumonisin mycotoxins has not yet been studied in the United States. Samples of black point wheat from the United States were found to be naturally contaminated with F. proliferatum and other fumonisin-producing species. In greenhouse tests, F. proliferatum strains isolated from black point wheat were able to cause disease symptoms and fumonisin contamination of wheat. Despite this potential for fumonisin contamination of wheat infected with F. proliferatum, mass spectrometric analysis found no evidence for significant (>1 µg/g) fumonisin contamination of field samples of black point wheat.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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