Evaluating three commonly used growth media for assessing fumonisin analogues FB1, FB2 and FB3 production by nine Fusarium verticillioides isolates
Janse van Rensburg, B.
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Maize is most often infected by the fumonisin-producing Fusarium verticillioides. Total fumonisins of natural infected grain is made up of FB1, FB2 and FB3 with FB1 occurring naturally at higher levels. A maize plant can be infected with more than one F. verticillioides isolate, and finding a reliable method to elucidate the toxigenic potential of these isolates is important to extrapolate the possible fumonisin risk to consumers of grain. It is not clear whether F. verticillioides produces similar fumonisin levels, as well as fumonisin analogue ratios, across media. In this study, nine F. verticillioides isolates were subjected to three methods of fumonisin testing using liquid media, maize patties and a field trial (silk inoculation of grain) in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Spore concentrations of 1 × 106 conidia ml–1 of each isolate were used to inoculate the different media and levels fumonisin analogues were measured using HPLC. Fumonisin production per isolate was highly variable and was influenced by the two-way interaction of F. verticillioides isolate × growth media. Total fumonisins produced in the liquid medium ranged from 0 to 21.3 ppm, on maize patties fumonisins they ranged from 0 to 21.5 ppm, and in the silk inoculation technique they ranged from 0 to 15.5 ppm. The fumonisin analogue FB1 occurred at higher levels followed by FB3 in both in vitro studies. In the silk inoculation technique, fumonisin analogue FB2 was the second highest occurring analogue after FB1. Isolate GCI 282 produced higher FB2 and FB3 levels than FB1 in the patties and grain, respectively. In order not to miscalculate the fumonisin and analogue ratio levels per F. verticillioides isolate, the growth medium will have to be optimised for each isolate and more than one growth medium used