A total of 57 samples of feedstuffs commonly used for animal nutrition in Colombia (corn, soybean, sorghum, cottonseed meal, sunflower seed meal, wheat middlings and rice) were analyzed for Fusarium contamination. Fusarium fungi were identified at species level by means of conventional methods and the ability to produce fumonisins of the most prevailing species was determined. A total of 41 of the feedstuffs analyzed (71.9%) were found to contain Fusarium spp. Most contaminated substrates were corn (100%), cottonseed meal (100%), sorghum (80%), and soybean (80%). Wheat middlings and rice showed lower levels of contamination (40% and 20%, respectively), while no Fusarium spp. could be isolated from sunflower seed meal. The most prevalent species of Fusarium isolated were F. verticilliodes (70.8%), F.␣proliferatum (25.0%), and F. subglutinans (4.2%). All of them correspond to section Liseola.
Production of fumonisins on corn by the isolated Fusarium was screened through liquid chromatography. Almost all strains of F. verticilliodes (97.1%) produced FB1 (5.6–25,846.4 mg/kg) and FB2 (3.4–7507.5 mg/kg). Similarly, almost all strains of F.␣proliferatum (91.7%) produced fumonisins but at lower levels than F.␣verticilliodes (FB1 from 6.9 to 3885.0 mg/kg, and FB2 from 34.3 to 373.8 mg/kg), while F. subglutinans did not produce these toxins. This is the first study in Colombia describing toxigenic Fusarium isolates from␣animal feedstuffs.