Biogeography of Fusarium graminearum species complex and chemotypes: a review

T.A.J. van der Lee, H. Zhang, A. Diepeningen, C. Waalwijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Differences in the geographic distribution of distinct trichothecene mycotoxins in wheat and barley were first recorded two decades ago. The different toxicological properties of deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV) and their acetylated derivatives require careful monitoring of the dynamics of these mycotoxins and their producers. The phylogenetic species concept has become a valuable tool to study the global occurrence of mycotoxin-producing Fusarium species. This has revolutionised our views on the terrestrial distribution of trichothecene-producing Fusaria in the context of agronomics, climatic conditions, and human interference by the global trade and exchange of agricultural commodities. This paper presents an overview of the dynamics of the different trichothecene-producing Fusarium species as well as their chemotypes and genotypes across different continents. Clearly not one global population exists, but separate ones can be distinguished, sometimes even sympatric in combination with different hosts. A population with more pathogenic strains and chemotypes can replace another. Several displacement events appear to find their origin in the inadvertent introduction of new genotypes into new regions: 3-acetyl-DON-producing F. graminearum in Canada; 3-acetyl-DON-producing F. asiaticum in Eastern China; 15-acetyl-DON F. graminearum in Uruguay; and NIV-producing F asiaticum in the southern United States
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-460
JournalFood Additives & Contaminants. Pt. A, Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • head blight pathogen
  • nivalenol-producing chemotypes
  • small-grain cereals
  • trichothecene genotypes
  • new-zealand
  • genealogical concordance
  • mycotoxin chemotypes
  • population-structure
  • southern brazil
  • sensu-stricto


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