Water and temperature relations of Fusarium langsethiae strains and modelling of growth and T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxin production on oat-based matrices
Osk Jonsdottir, Inga
In the UK and Northern Europe, ripening oats can become contaminated with T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins, produced mainly by Fusarium langsethiae. There are indicative levels related to the maximum limits for oat grain for these toxins. The objectives of this study were to examine the effect of interacting conditions of temperature (10–30 °C) and water activity (aw, 0.995–0.90) on (a) lag times prior to growth, (b) growth and (c) T-2 and HT-2 toxins by two strains of F. langsethiae isolated from oats in the UK and compare this with the type strain (Fl201059) which has been genomically sequenced, and (d) develop (and validated with published data) a probabilistic models for impacts of temperature × aw on growth and toxin production. All three strains had an optimum aw range and temperature of 0.995–0.98 and 25 °C for growth. For T-2 + HT-2 production these were 0.995 aw and 20 °C. Overall, the type strain produced higher amounts of T-2 + HT-2 with a HT-2/T-2 ratio of up to 76. Using this study data sets and those from the literature, probabilistic models were developed and validated for growth and T-2 + HT-2 toxin production in relation to temperature × aw conditions. These models, when applied in stored oats, will be beneficial in determining the conditions on the relative level of risk of contamination with these two toxins in the context of the EU indicative maximum levels.