Survey for toxigenic Fusarium species on maize kernels in China

P.W. Qin, J. Xu, Y. Jiang, L. Hu, T.A.J. van der Lee, C. Waalwijk, W.M. Zhang, X.D. Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Maize is currently the most important crop in China. A major concern in maize production is maize ear rot caused by Fusarium spp., which results in yield losses, reduction of seed quality and the accumulation of mycotoxins in the harvested grains. To identify the importance of the different Fusarium species in maize infection, we performed a comprehensive survey on 9,000 asymptomatic and randomly collected maize kernels. Seeds were collected from 12 different provinces covering all major maize growing areas in China and included five maize varieties. In total 1,022 Fusarium isolates were retrieved that were identified based on morphological characteristics, by species specific diagnostic PCRs and by EF1-α gene sequencing. Eight different species were identified: Fusarium verticillioides (75.34%), Fusarium graminearum (8.32%), Fusarium proliferatum (7.14%), Fusarium subglutinans (4.11%), Fusarium meridionale (1.57%), Fusarium oxysporum (1.37%), Fusarium semitectum (1.17%), and Fusarium asiaticum (0.98%). The distribution of Fusarium species was found to be different in different regions with the largest diversity observed in Hubei province, where all eight Fusarium species were isolated. Genetic chemotyping within the F. graminearum species complex indicated that all of the 85 F. graminearum isolates showed the 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol chemotype, whereas all F. asiaticum (n=10) and F. meridionale (n=16) isolates had the nivalenol chemotype even when isolated from the same maize field. To our knowledge this is the largest collection of Fusarium isolates from maize and further exploitations of this collection are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-224
JournalWorld Mycotoxin Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020


  • maize ear rot
  • Fusarium spp.
  • Population structure
  • mycotoxin chemotypes


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