Determination of mycotoxin concentration by ELISA and near-infrared spectroscopy in Fusarium-inoculated maize


Ear rots of maize caused by Fusarium spp. reduce grain yield and produce mycotoxins, which are harmful to humans and animals. To breed maize cultivars resistant to Fusarium spp., reliable large-scale phenotyping is essential. Our objectives were to (i) examine the precision of the ELISA method for determination of important mycotoxins, namely deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM), (ii) evaluate the potential of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to estimate concentrations of DON and FUM in grain produced in inoculated maize plants, and (iii) compare the efficiency of ELISA, NIRS, and visual rating of disease severity for estimation of mycotoxin concentrations. Insignificant variation was observed between duplicate evaluations of DON and FUM by ELISA, showing the high repeatability of this method. DON and FUM determinations by ELISA were more closely correlated with mycotoxin concentrations predicted through NIRS than with visual rating of disease severity. For the prediction of DON, NIRS had very high magnitude of the coefficients of determination of calibration and cross validation (R2 = 0.90–0.88). Thus, NIRS has a promising potential to predict DON concentration in grain samples of inoculated maize genotypes evaluated in resistance breeding programs.


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Correspondence to A. E. Melchinger.

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Communicated by Á. Mesterházy

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Bolduan, C., Montes, J.M., Dhillon, B.S. et al. Determination of mycotoxin concentration by ELISA and near-infrared spectroscopy in Fusarium-inoculated maize. CEREAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 37, 521–529 (2009).

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  • near-infrared spectroscopy
  • mycotoxins
  • Fusarium graminearum
  • Fusarium verticillioides
  • Zea mays
  • resistance breeding