The Induction of Mycotoxins by Trichothecene Producing Fusarium Species

  • Rohan Lowe
  • Mélanie Jubault
  • Gail Canning
  • Martin Urban
  • Kim E. Hammond-Kosack
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 835)


In recent years, many Fusarium species have emerged which now threaten the productivity and safety of small grain cereal crops worldwide. During floral infection and post-harvest on stored grains the Fusarium hyphae produce various types of harmful mycotoxins which subsequently contaminate food and feed products. This article focuses specifically on the induction and production of the type B sesquiterpenoid trichothecene mycotoxins. Methods are described which permit in liquid culture the small or large scale production and detection of deoxynivalenol (DON) and its various acetylated derivatives. A wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) ear inoculation assay is also explained which allows the direct comparison of mycotoxin production by species, chemotypes and strains with different growth rates and/or disease-causing abilities. Each of these methods is robust and can be used for either detailed time-course studies or end-point analyses. Various analytical methods are available to quantify the levels of DON, 3A-DON and 15A-DON. Some criteria to be considered when making selections between the different analytical methods available are briefly discussed.

Key words

Fusarium graminearum Gibberella zeae Head scab disease Fusarium culmorum Deoxynivalenol DON Trichothecene mycotoxin detection Chemotype Wheat ear inoculation Induction of mycotoxin production in liquid culture 



Rothamsted Research receives grant-aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the UK. MJ was supported by a grant from Bayer CropScience. RL and GC were supported by a BBSRC grant awarded within the special initiative on plant and microbial metabolomics (BB/D007224/1). We thank Neil Brown for critical reading the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rohan Lowe
    • 1
  • Mélanie Jubault
    • 1
  • Gail Canning
    • 1
  • Martin Urban
    • 1
  • Kim E. Hammond-Kosack
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology and MicrobiologyCentre for Sustainable Pest and Disease Management, Rothamsted ResearchHarpendenUK

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