Thirty-four isolates of the eight most common Fusarium species isolated from Norwegian cereals; F. avenaceum, F. culmorum, F. equiseti, F. graminearum, F. poae, F. sporotrichioides, F. torulosum and F. tricinctum were studied for their cytotoxicity and ability to produce mycotoxins. The strains were cultivated on rice, and analysed for trichothecenes (all species), zearalenone (all species), fusarochromanone (F. equiseti), wortmannin (F. torulosum), moniliformin and enniatins (F. avenaceum, F. tricinctum and F. torulosum). The cytotoxicity of the extracts were examined with an (in vitro) MTT-cell culture assay. All F. graminearum and five of seven F. culmorum isolates belonged to chemotype IA, producing deoxynivalenol and 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol, while the two other F. culmorum strains were nivalenol producers (chemotype II). The F. equiseti isolates and one of the F. poae isolates produced both type A and B trichothecenes, and relatively large quantities of fusarochromanone were detected in the F. equiseti cultures. All Fusarium species studied showed significant cytotoxicity, but with a large variation between species, and also within each species. F. sporotrichioides and F. equiseti showed the highest average cytotoxicity.
A total of 449 grain samples, 102 barley, 169 wheat and 178 oat samples were collected from different regions of Norway from 1996-1998 crops, mainly from grain loads and silos. The samples were analysed for type A and B trichothecenes, the largest groups of mycotoxins produced by the Fusarium species, by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS). Factors affecting the presence of the different trichothecenes are discussed. Deoxynivalenol (DON) and HT-2 toxin were the trichothecenes most frequently detected, followed by T-2 toxin, nivalenol, and scirpentriol, scirpentriol being detected only in seven samples (> 20 micrograms/kg). Oats were the grain species most heavily contaminated with an incidence (% > 20 micrograms/kg) and mean concentration of positive samples of 70% (115 micrograms/kg) for HT-2 toxin, 30% (60 micrograms/kg) for T-2 toxin, 57% (104 micrograms/kg) for DON, and 10% (56 micrograms/kg) for nivalenol. The corresponding values for barley were 22% (73 micrograms/kg), 5% (85 micrograms/kg), 17% (155 micrograms/kg) and 6% (30 micrograms/kg), and for wheat 1.2% (20 micrograms/kg), 0.6% (20 micrograms/kg), 14% (53 micrograms/kg) and 0% for HT-2, T-2, DON and nivalenol, respectively. Norwegian oats were found to contain HT-2 and T-2 toxin in concentrations that might be at threat to human health for high consumers of oats. The amount of DON was significantly lower than in the crop from previous years.
Twenty-three Fusarium culmorum and 21 F. graminearum isolates were studied for their ability to produce mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites. The strains were cultivated on rice, and the extracts analysed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) after derivatization with pentafluoropropionic (PFP) reagent. Two F. culmorum strains formed nivalenol and its acetylated derivatives (chemotype II), while all F. graminearum and the other F. culmorum isolates produced deoxynivalenol (DON) via 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-acetyl-DON) (chemotype IA). 15-hydroxy-culmorin, followed by 5-hydroxy-culmorin were the main other metabolites produced F. culmorum, while 5-, 12- and an unidentified hydroxy-culmorin, suggested to be 14-hydroxy-culmorin, were the main metabolites of F. graminearum. The hydroxy-culmorin profile was found to be significantly different for the two Fusarium species. Minor amounts of about ten other hydroxy-culmorins, four hydroxy-culmorones and 3,13-dihydroxy- epiapotrichothecene were also detected in most cultures. Traces of sambucinol seemed to be present in some of the isolates, but were not detected in any significant amounts. The precursors in the biosynthetic sequence to 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol, 7,8-dihydroxycalonectrin and 15-deacetyl-7,8-dihydroxycalonectrin, were detected in most cultures. We also report the assignment of both the 1H and 13C NMR data of 15-deacetyl-7,8-dihydroxycalonectrin, which has only been reported incorrectly before.
A Fusarium species with a micro morphology similar to F. poae and a metabolite profile resembling that of F. sporotrichioides has been identified. Like typical F. poae, the microconidia have a globose to pyriform shape, but the powdery appearance, especially on Czapek-Dox Iprodione Dichloran agar (CZID), less aerial mycelium and the lack of fruity odour on Potato Sucrose Agar (PSA) make it different from F. poae. The lack of macroconidia, polyphialides and chlamydospores differentiates it from F. sporotrichioides. All 18 isolates investigated, 15 Norwegian, two Austrian and one Dutch, produced T-2 toxin (25-400 micrograms/g) on PSA or Yeast Extract Sucrose agar (YES). In addition, neosolaniol, iso-neosolaniol, HT-2 toxin, 4- and 15-acetyl T-2 tetraol, T-2 triol and T-2 tetraol and 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol were formed in variable amounts. Neither nivalenol, 4- or 15-acetylnivalenol or 4,15-diacetylnivalenol were detected in any of the cultures, while these toxins were produced at least in small amounts by all the 12 typical F. poae isolates studied. The question of whether this Fusarium should be classified as F. poae or F. sporotrichioides or a separate taxon should be addressed.