Malting of Fusarium Head Blight-Infected Rye (Secale cereale): Growth of Fusarium graminearum, Trichothecene Production, and the Impact on Malt Quality

Zhao Jin, James Gillespie, John Barr, Jochum J. Wiersma, Mark E. Sorrells, Steve Zwinger, Thomas Gross, Jaime Cumming, Gary C. Bergstrom, Robert Brueggeman, Richard D. Horsley, Paul B. Schwarz

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4 Scopus citations


This project was initiated with the goal of investigating the malt quality of winter rye cultivars and hybrids grown in the United States in 2014 and 2015, but high levels of deoxynivalenol (DON) were subsequently found in many of the malt samples. DON levels in 75% of the investigated rye samples (n = 117) were actually below 1.0 mg/kg, as quantified by a gas chromatography combined with electron capture detector (GC-ECD). However, 83% of the samples had DON in excess of 1.0 mg/kg following malting, and the average DON level in malted rye was 10.6 mg/kg. In addition, relatively high levels of 3-acetate DON (3-ADON), 15-acetate DON (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV), and DON-3-glucoside (D3G) were observed in some rye malts. Our results show that rye grain DON is likely a poor predicator of type B trichothecenes in malt in practice, because high levels of malt DON, 15-ADONm and D3G were produced, even when the rye samples with DON levels below 0.50 mg/kg were processed. Fusarium Tri5 DNA content in rye was highly associated with malt DON levels (r = 0.83) in a small subset of samples (n = 55). The impact of Fusarium infection on malt quality was demonstrated by the significant correlations between malt DON levels and wort viscosity, β-glucan content, wort color, wort p-coumaric acid content, and total phenolic content. Additional correlations of rye Fusarium Tri5 DNA contents with malt diastatic power (DP), wort free amino nitrogen (FAN) content, and arabinoxylan content were observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number369
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 11 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Agreement No. 59-0206-9-064). This is a cooperative project with the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors


  • environment
  • malting quality
  • phenolics
  • rye
  • Tri5 DNA
  • type B trichothecenes
  • variety
  • viscosity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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