Occurrence of Fusarium langsethiae and T-2 and HT-2 Toxins in Italian Malting Barley

Caterina Morcia, Giorgio Tumino, Roberta Ghizzoni, Franz W Badeck, Veronica M T Lattanzio, Michelangelo Pascale, Valeria Terzi
Toxins 2016 August 20, 8 (8)
T-2 and HT-2 toxins are two of the most toxic members of type-A trichothecenes, produced by a number of Fusarium species. The occurrence of these mycotoxins was studied in barley samples during a survey carried out in the 2011-2014 growing seasons in climatically different regions in Italy. The percentage of samples found positive ranges from 22% to 53%, with values included between 26 and 787 μg/kg. The percentage of samples with a T-2 and HT-2 content above the EU indicative levels for barley of 200 μg/kg ranges from 2% to 19.6% in the 2011-2014 period. The fungal species responsible for the production of these toxins in 100% of positive samples has been identified as Fusarium langsethiae, a well-known producer of T-2 and HT-2 toxins. A positive correlation between the amount of F. langsethiae DNA and of the sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxins was found. This is the first report on the occurrence of F. langsethiae-and of its toxic metabolites T-2 and HT-2-in malting barley grown in Italy.

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