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Occurrence of fumonisins in asparagus (asparagus officinalis L.) and garlic (allium sativum L.) from Germany

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Fusarium proliferatum is able to produce fumonisins and is considered a pathogen of many economically important plants (e.g. corn, rice, asparagus) [1]. The occurrence of fumonisin FB1 inF. proliferatum infected asparagus spears from Germany was investigated using a liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) method with isotopically labeled fumonisin FB1-d6 as internal standard. Asparagus samples were harvested in July 2000 and screened forFusarium species. AltogetherF. oxysporum, F. proliferatum and F. sambucinum were isolated from the spears. The samples infected with F.proliferatum were subsequently analyzed for fumonisins. FB1 was detected in 9 of the 10 samples in amounts ranging from 36.4 ng/g to 4513.7 ng/g (based on dry weight). Fumonisins FB2 and FB3 were found in six samples in lower concentrations. In asparagus spears of June 2002 we could findF. proliferatum in 6% of the samples, however no fumonisins were detectable.

Furthermore the capability of producing FB1 by the fungus in garlic bulbs was investigated. Therefore garlic was cultured inF. proliferatum contaminated soil and the bulbs were screened for infection with F.proliferatum and for the occurrence of fumonisins by LC-MS. F.proliferatum was detectable in the garlic tissue and all samples contained FB1 (26.0 ng/g to 94.6 ng/g).

This is the first report of the natural occurrence of FB1 in German asparagus spears and furthermore our findings suggest a potential for natural contamination of garlic bulbs with fumonisins. For detailed results and methods see Ref. [2].

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  1. 1.

    Logrieco A, Doko B, Moretti A, Frisullo S, Visconti A (1998) Occurrence of fumonisin B1 and B2 inF. proliferatum infected asparagus plants. J. Agric. Food Chem. 46: 5201–5204.

  2. 2.

    Seefelder W, Goβmann M, Humpf H-U (2002) Analysis of Fumonisin FB1 inFusarium proliferatum Infected Asparagus Spears and Garlic Bulbs from Germany by Liquid Chromatography/Electrospray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry. J. Agric. Food Chem. 50: 2778–2781.

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Correspondence to W. Seefelder or A. Knecht or M. Goβmann or S. Kleta or C. Büttner or H. U. Humpf.

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Seefelder, W., Knecht, A., Goβmann, M. et al. Occurrence of fumonisins in asparagus (asparagus officinalis L.) and garlic (allium sativum L.) from Germany. Mycotox Res 20, 29–30 (2004).

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  • Fumonisin
  • asparagus
  • garlic
  • analysis