International journal of food microbiology

Mycotoxin production by Alternaria strains isolated from Argentinean wheat.

PMID 17804107


The toxigenic potential of Alternaria strains isolated from Argentinean wheat was investigated. A total of 123 strains were assayed for the production of tenuazonic acid (TA), alternariol (AOH) and alternariol monomethyl ether (AME). All but one of the isolates were able to produce at least one of the three mycotoxins. TA was produced by 72% of the strains (1-14782 mg/kg), AOH by 87% (4-622 mg/kg) and AME by 91% (7-2625 mg/kg). The average level of TA detected for all strains (1757 mg/kg) was higher than the average level of both alternariols (162 mg/kg for AOH and 620 mg/kg for AME). TA was the toxin produced at the highest concentration but in lower frequency. Most of the strains were able to synthesize more than one toxin: 74 isolates (60%) were positive for all three toxins, 30 (24%) for both AOH and AME, 5 (4%) for both TA and AME, and 2 (2%) for TA and AOH. The widespread occurrence of Alternaria in wheat and its ability to produce mycotoxins suggests the possible occurrence of its toxins in wheat naturally infected with this fungus.