Fusarium Secondary Metabolite Content in Naturally Produced and Artificially Provoked FHB Pressure in Winter Wheat

Katarina Sunic*, Tihomir Kovac, Ante Loncaric, Jurislav Babic, Michael Sulyok, Rudolf Krska, Georg Drezner, Valentina Spanic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is an important disease of wheat and production of mycotoxins makes it a major threat in most wheat-producing areas worldwide. This study aimed to identify the impact of epidemic FHB conditions (usage of artificial Fusarium inoculation) on mycotoxin levels in unprocessed wheat. Fusarium levels were monitored at two locations in two treatments (natural infection and inoculation with Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum) where 13 mycotoxins were evaluated by LC/MS-MS in six winter wheat varieties. Due to favorable conditions for infection with Fusarium fungi during the flowering period at location Tovarnik, wheat varieties had higher disease severity and increased mycotoxin accumulation, compared to Osijek. The most abundant mycotoxins in treatment with inoculation with Fusarium fungi were deoxynivalenol (DON), culmorin (CUL) and hydroxyculmorins. In treatment with natural infection, DON did not exceed maximum limits set by EU. Varieties with lower initial resistance accumulated DON even in naturally infected samples at Tovarnik. These results highlighted the impact of environment variation in the production of Fusarium mycotoxins where FHB initial resistance had a higher impact on the accumulation of mycotoxins than general resistance. Furthermore, wheat samples with higher DON concentration also contained elevated levels of CUL and hydroxyculmorins, showing that CUL can have a possible role in Fusarium virulence. The FHB evaluations provide important information about the genetic resistance of wheat varieties, as well as risk assessment considering mycotoxin accumulation in epidemic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2239
Number of pages19
Issue number11
Early online date04 Nov 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 04 Nov 2021


  • Fusarium culmorum
  • Fusarium graminearum
  • mycotoxins
  • wheat
  • LC/MS-MS


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