, Volume 108, Issue 7, pp 597-609

Toxigenic Fusarium Species and Mycotoxins Associated with Maize Ear Rot in Europe

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Several Fusarium species occurring worldwide on maize as causal agents of ear rot, are capable of producing mycotoxins in infected kernels, some of which have a notable impact on human and animal health. The main groups of Fusarium toxins commonly found are: trichothecenes, zearalenones, fumonisins, and moniliformin. In addition, beauvericin and fusaproliferin have been found in Fusarium-infected maize ears. Zearalenone and deoxynivalenol are commonly found in maize red ear rot, which is essentially caused by species of the Discolour section, particularly F. graminearum. Moreover, nivalenol and fusarenone-X were often found associated with the occasional occurrence of F. cerealis, and diacetoxyscirpenol and T-2 toxin with the occurrence of F. poae and F. sporotrichioides, respectively. In addition, the occurrence of F. avenaceum and F. subglutinans usually led to the accumulation of moniliformin. In maize pink ear rot, which is mainly caused by F. verticillioides, there is increasing evidence of the wide occurrence of fumonisin B1. This carcinogenic toxin is usually found in association with moniliformin, beauvericin, and fusaproliferin, both in central Europe due to the co-occurrence of F. subglutinans, and in southern Europe where the spread of F. verticillioides is reinforced by the widespread presence of F. proliferatum capable of producing fumonisin B1, moniliformin, beauvericin, and fusaproliferin.