Fusarium avenaceum — the North European situation

Silvio Uhlig, Marika Jestoi, Päivi Parikka
International Journal of Food Microbiology 2007 October 20, 119 (1): 17-24
The Fusarium species complex found on small-grain cereals in Northern Europe is largely dominated by F. avenaceum, while other important species include F. tricinctum, F. poae, F. culmorum and F. graminearum. The dominance of F. avenaceum has in recent years initiated extensive analytical activity in Norway and Finland in order to gain insight into the contamination of grain with secondary metabolites related to the fungus. Of these, moniliformin is the most studied compound with regard to toxicity. However, the data from analytical surveys indicate that field conditions in Northern Europe do not favour production of the metabolite. Instead, enniatins are regularly found in ppm-concentrations in grain, especially wheat and barley, while the bio-production of a range of other F. avenaceum related metabolites has so far barely been investigated. This paper summarises the results from mycological and chemical analyses of grain samples from Norway and Finland for major Fusarium species and F. avenaceum-related secondary metabolites.

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