, Volume 133, Issue 4, pp 911-922
Date: 12 Feb 2012

Fusarium temperatum, a mycotoxin-producing pathogen of maize

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In a recent study, a population of Fusarium strains isolated from maize in Belgium was described as a new species, F. temperatum, that is morphologically similar and phylogenetically closely related to F. subglutinans, a species in the American clade of the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex. In fields, the F. temperatum:F. subglutinans ratio was very high, suggesting that F. temperatum outcompetes its sister species F. subglutinans. This raised the question whether this novel species contributes to the final rot symptoms observed on maize plants at harvest, as well as to the potential mycotoxin contamination. Results of the pathogenicity tests by soil and toothpick inoculation demonstrate the ability of F. temperatum to cause seedling malformation and stalk rot under greenhouse conditions. Screening of 15 Fusarium mycotoxins showed the ability of F. temperatum to produce moniliformin, beauvericin, enniatins and fumonisin B1. The results indicate that F. temperatum can produce mycotoxins and cause maize diseases and, therefore, poses a potential risk to maize production and to the safety of human food and animal feed.