Occurrence of Beauvericin in Corn from Croatia

Zeljko Jurjevic1*, Michele Solfrizzo2, Bogdan Cvjetkovic1, Analisa De Girolamo2 and Angelo Visconti2

Department of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska 25, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

2Institute of Toxins and Mycotoxins, C.N.R., Viale Einaudi 51, I-70125 Bari, Italy

Article history:

Received December 20, 2001
Accepted February 21, 2002

Key words:

beauvericin, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, mycotoxins, Fusarium


The occurrence of beauvericin has been investigated in corn kernel (Zea mays L.) samples collected in 1996 (105 samples) and 1997 (104 samples) from 14 corn-producing counties of Croatia. Corn sample extracts were cleaned up by silica gel minicolumns and analyzed for beauvericin by high performance liquid chromatography with UV diode array detector. Higher incidence of positive samples was found in the 1996 crop as compared to the 1997 crop. In particular, 18 samples (17.4 %) of the 1996 crop were found contaminated with a mean beauvericin content of 393 ng/g and the highest level at 1864 ng/g. Only 1 out of 104 samples collected in the 1997 crop was contaminated with 696 ng/g of the toxin. Beauvericin co-occurred with fumonisins B1 and B2 and with ochratoxin A in 17 and 4 samples, respectively. The results of mycological analysis of corn samples for beauvericin producing Fusarium species were in agreement with results of chemical analysis. In particular, higher incidence of Fusarium verticillioides (Sacc.) Nirenberg (known as Fusarium moniliforme Sheldon) (3.7 %) and Fusarium subglutinans (Wollenweber & Reinking) Nelson, Toussoun & Marasas (5.3 %) was found in 1996 with respect to 1997 (1.9 % of F. verticillioides and 0.4 % of F. subglutinans). This is the first report on the occurrence of beauvericin in Croatia. 

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