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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #389607

Research Project: Innovative Approaches to Monitor, Predict, and Reduce Fungal Toxins

Location: Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research

Title: Volatile organic compound profile fingerprints using DART–MS shows species-specific patterns in Fusarium mycotoxin producing fungi

item Busman, Mark
item Roberts, Ethan
item Proctor, Robert
item Maragos, Chris

Submitted to: The Journal of Fungi
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2021
Publication Date: 12/21/2021
Citation: Busman, M., Roberts, E., Proctor, R.H., Maragos, C.M. 2021. Volatile organic compound profile fingerprints using DART–MS shows species-specific patterns in Fusarium mycotoxin producing fungi. The Journal of Fungi. 8(1). Article 3.

Interpretive Summary: A technique was developed to determine levels of volatile compounds from fungi growing on cracked corn. The volatile compounds are produced by a variety of toxin producing fungi during their growth on any food source. The analysis of the volatile compounds can be used to identify the fungi producing the compounds. The technique is based on the coupling of ambient ionization from an air flow from the area surrounding fungi with mass spectrometry. The procedure allows the rapid and sensitive detection of volatile compounds without extensive sample preparation or the normally required chromatographic separation. This work could be used as a basis for development of a rapid, sensitive and convenient analytical tool for grain processors seeking to assure the safety of grain-based products.

Technical Abstract: Fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are fungal metabolites that potentially function in signaling. VOCs are metabolic products that are involved in microbial cross talk and plant / fungal interactions. Here, we report a VOC study of several different species of Fusarium. Direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART–MS) was applied for non-invasive VOC fingerprinting of Fusarium isolates growing under standardized conditions. A large number of ions were detected from the headspaces of the Fusarium species sampled here. Ions were detected with distinctively high concentrations in some species. While there were few VOCs produced by only one species, the relative concentrations of VOCs differed between species. The methodology has potential for convenient detection and identification of Fusarium contamination in agricultural commodities.