Mycotoxin Research

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 89–96 | Cite as

Mycotoxins produced by Fusarium spp. associated with Fusarium head blight of wheat in Western Australia

  • Diana C. Tan
  • Gavin R. Flematti
  • Emilio L. Ghisalberti
  • Krishnapillai Sivasithamparam
  • Sukumar Chakraborty
  • Friday Obanor
  • Kithsiri Jayasena
  • Martin J. BarbettiEmail author
Original Paper


An isolated occurrence of Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat was detected in the south-west region of Western Australia during the 2003 harvest season. The molecular identity of 23 isolates of Fusarium spp. collected from this region during the FHB outbreak confirmed the associated pathogens to be F. graminearum, F. acuminatum or F. tricinctum. Moreover, the toxicity of their crude extracts from Czapek-Dox liquid broth and millet seed cultures to brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) was associated with high mortality levels. The main mycotoxins detected were type B trichothecenes (deoxynivalenol and 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol), enniatins, chlamydosporol and zearalenone. This study is the first report on the mycotoxin profiles of Fusarium spp. associated with FHB of wheat in Western Australia. This study highlights the need for monitoring not just for the presence of the specific Fusarium spp. present in any affected grain but also for their potential mycotoxin and other toxic secondary metabolites.


Mycotoxin Trichothecene Enniatin Chlamydosporol Zearalenone Fusarium graminearum Fusarium acuminatum Fusarium tricinctum 



We thank the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia for providing half the salary for Martin Barbetti while these studies were being undertaken and for also providing the Fusarium isolates from their Culture Collection Herbarium. The first author is a recipient of an Australian University Postgraduate Award. Funding for this research was provided by the School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia.

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest in relation to publication of this paper. All funding for this work was internal to the University of Western Australia; there was no external funding component of this research.


  1. Akinsanmi OA, Mitter V, Simpfendorfer S, Backhouse D, Chakraborty S (2004) Identity and pathogenicity of Fusarium spp. isolated from wheat fields in Queensland and northern New South Wales. Aust J Agric Res 55:97–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blaney BJ, Dodman RL (1988) Production of the mycotoxins zearalenone, 4-deoxynivalenol and nivalenol by isolates of Fusarium graminearum Groups 1 and 2 from cereals in Queensland. Aust J Agric Res 39:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blaney BJ, Dodman RL (2002) Production of zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, and acetylated derivatives by Australian isolates of Fusarium graminearum and F. pseudograminearum in relation to source and culturing conditions. Aust J Agric Res 53:1317–1326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bottalico A (1998) Fusarium diseases of cereals: species complex and related mycotoxins profiles, in Europe. J Plant Pathol 80:85–103Google Scholar
  5. Bottalico A, Perrone G (2002) Toxigenic Fusarium species and mycotoxins associated with head blight in small-grain cereals in Europe. Eur J Plant Pathol 108:611–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burgess LW, Dodman RL, Mayers P, Pont W (1981) Fusarium diseases of wheat, maize and grain sorghum in eastern Australia. In: Nelson PE, Toussoun TA, Cook RJ (eds) Fusarium: diseases, biology and taxonomy. Pennsylvania State University Press, Pennsylvania, pp 64–76Google Scholar
  7. Chakraborty S, Liu CJ et al (2006) Pathogen population structure and epidemiology are keys to wheat crown rot and Fusarium head blight management. Australas Plant Pathol 35:643–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chambers SC (1962) Root diseases in wheat on clover ley - factors under investigation. 1. The role of oats after ley. J Agric West Aust 3:299Google Scholar
  9. Clear RM, Abramson D (1986) Occurrence of Fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin) in two samples of Manitoba wheat in 1984. Can Plant Dis Surv 66:9–11Google Scholar
  10. Cromey MG, Parkes RA, Fraser PM (2001) Fusarium levels in grain harvested from New Zealand wheat and barley crops in 2000. N Z Plant Protect 54:193–197Google Scholar
  11. Desjardins AE, Proctor RH, Bai G, McCormick SP, Shaner G, Buechley G, Hohn TM (1996) Reduced virulence of trichothecene-nonproducing mutants of Gibberella zeae in wheat field tests. Mol Plant-Microbe Int 9:775–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doohan FM, Brennan J, Cooke BM (2003) Influence of climatic factors on Fusarium species pathogenic to cereals. Eur J Plant Pathol 109:755–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goswami RS, Kistler HC (2005) Pathogenicity and in planta mycotoxin accumulation among members of the Fusarium graminearum species complex on wheat and rice. Phytopathology 95:1397–1404PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hope R, Aldred D, Magan N (2005) Comparison of environmental profiles for growth and deoxynivalenol production by Fusarium culmorum and F. graminearum on wheat grain. Lett Appl Microbiol 40:295–300PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jansen C, von Wettstein D, Schafer W, Kogel KH, Felk A, Maier FJ (2005) Infection patterns in barley and wheat spikes inoculated with wild-type and trichodiene synthase gene disrupted Fusarium graminearum. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 102:16892–16897PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jestoi M, Kokkonen M, Uhlig S (2009) What about the 'other' Fusarium mycotoxins? World Mycotoxin J 2:181–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Joffe AZ (1986) Fusarium species: their biology and toxicology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Logrieco A, Mule G, Moretti A, Bottalico A (2002a) Toxigenic Fusarium species and mycotoxins associated with maize ear rot in Europe. Eur J Plant Pathol 108:597–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Logrieco A, Rizzo A, Ferracane R, Ritieni A (2002b) Occurrence of beauvericin and enniatins in wheat affected by Fusarium avenaceum head blight. App Envir Microbiol 68:82–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Loughman R, Thomas G, Wright D (2004) Fusarium head blight of cereals and stalk rot of maize, millet and sorghum and their identification. Farmnote 78/2004. (Dept Agric and Food West Aust)Google Scholar
  21. McMullen M, Jones R, Gallenberg D (1997) Scab of wheat and barley: a re-emerging disease of devastating impact. Plant Dis 81:1340–1348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Monds RD, Cromey MG, Lauren DR, Di Menna M, Marshall J (2005) Fusarium graminearum, F. cortaderiae and F. pseudograminearum in New Zealand: molecular phylogenetic analysis, mycotoxin chemotypes and co-existence of species. Mycol Res 104:410–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Murray GM, Brown JF (1987) The incidence and relative importance of wheat diseases in Australia. Australas Plant Pathol 16:34–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Parry DW, Jenkinson P, McLeod L (1995) Fusarium ear blight (scab) in small grain cereals – a review. Plant Pathol 44:207–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Reverberi M, Ricelli A, Zjalic S, Fabbri AA, Fanelli C (2010) Natural functions of mycotoxins and control of their biosynthesis in fungi. Appl Microbiol Biotech 87:899–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ryu JC, Ohtsubo K, Izumiyama N, Nakamura K, Tanaka T, Yamamura H, Ueno Y (1988) The acute and chronic toxicities of nivalenol in mice. Fund Appl Toxicol 11:38–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sayer ST, Lauren DR (1991) Fusarium infection in New Zealand grain. N Z J Crop Hort Sci 19:143–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shipton WA, Chambers SC (1966) The internal microflora of wheat grains in Western Australia. Aust J Exp Agric Anim Husb 6:432–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Southwell RJ, Moore KJ, Manning W, Hayman PT (2003) An outbreak of Fusarium head blight of durum wheat on the Liverpool Plains in northern New South Wales in 1999. Australas Plant Pathol 32:465–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Summerell BA, Burgess LW, Klein TA (1989) The impact of stubble management on the incidence of crown rot of wheat. Aust J Exp Agric 29:91–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sydenham EW, Marasas WFO, Thiel PG, Shephard GS, Nieuwenhuis JJ (1991) Production of mycotoxins by selected Fusarium graminearum and F. crookwellense isolates. Food Addit Contam 8:31–41PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sydenham EW, Thiel PG, Marasas WFO, Nieuwenhuis JJ (1989) Occurrence of deoxynivalenol and nivalenol in Fusarium graminearum infected undergrade wheat in South Africa. J Agric Food Chem 37:921–926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tan DC, Flematti GR, Ghisalberti EL, Sivasithamparam K, Chakraborty S, Obanor F, Barbetti MJ (2011a) Mycotoxins produced by Fusarium species associated with annual legume pastures and sheep feed refusal disorders in Western Australia. Mycotoxin Res 27:123–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tan DC, Flematti GR, Ghisalberti EL, Sivasithamparam K, Barbetti MJ (2011b) Toxigenicity of enniatins from Western Australian Fusarium species to brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana). Toxicon 57:817–825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tan MK, Simpfendorfer S, Backhouse D, Murray GM (2004) Occurrence of Fusarium head blight (FHB) in southern NSW in 2000: identification of causal fungi and determination of putative chemotype of Fusarium graminearum isolates by PCR. Australas Plant Pathol 33:385–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Teich AH, Hamilton JR (1985) Effects of cultural practices, soil phosphorus, potassium and pH on the incidence of Fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol levels in wheat. Appl Envir Microbiol 46:1429–1431Google Scholar
  37. Teich AH, Nelson K (1984) Survey of Fusarium head blight and possible effects of cultural practices in wheat fields in Lambton County in 1983. Can Plant Dis Surv 64:11–13Google Scholar
  38. Waalwijk C, Kastelein P, de Vries I, Kerényi Z, van der Lee T, Hesselink T, Köhl J, Kema G (2003) Major changes in Fusarium spp. in wheat in the Netherlands. Eur J Plant Pathol 109:743–754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ward TJ, Clear RM, Rooney AP, Donnell KO, Gaba D, Patrick S, Starkey DE, Gilbert J, Geiser DM, Nowicki TW (2008) An adaptive evolutionary shift in Fusarium head blight pathogen populations in driving the rapid spread of more toxigenic Fusarium graminearum in North America. Fung Genet Biol 45:473–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wright DG, Thomas GJ, Loughman R, Fuso-Nyarko J, Bullock S (2010) Detection of Fusarium graminearum in wheat grains in Western Australia. Australas Plant Dis Notes 5:82–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xu XM, Nicholson P (2009) Community ecology of fungal pathogens causing wheat head blight. Annu Rev Phytopathol 47:83–103PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xu XM, Nicholson P, Ritieni A (2007) Effects of fungal interactions among Fusarium head blight pathogens on disease development and mycotoxin accumulation. Int J Food Microbiol 119:67–71PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Xu XM, Nicholson P, Thomsett MA, Simpson D, Cooke BM, Doohan FM, Brennan J, Monaghan S, Moretti A, Mule G, Homok L, Beki E, Tatnell J, Ritieni A, Edwards SG (2008) Relationship between the fungal complex causing Fusarium head blight of wheat and environmental conditions. Phytopathology 98:69–78PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yang L, Van der Lee T, Lee X, Yang D, Yu D, Waalwijk C (2008) Fusarium populations on Chinese barley show a dramatic gradient in mycotoxin profiles. Phytopathology 98:719–727PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana C. Tan
    • 1
  • Gavin R. Flematti
    • 2
  • Emilio L. Ghisalberti
    • 2
  • Krishnapillai Sivasithamparam
    • 1
  • Sukumar Chakraborty
    • 4
  • Friday Obanor
    • 4
  • Kithsiri Jayasena
    • 1
    • 5
  • Martin J. Barbetti
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Life and Physical SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.The UWA Institute of AgricultureThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  4. 4.CSIRO Plant IndustrySt LuciaAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Agriculture and Food Western AustraliaAlbanyAustralia

Personalised recommendations