Submitted to: Food Additives & Contaminants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 16, 2012
Publication Date: July 30, 2012
Citation: Busman, M., Butchko, R.A., Proctor, R. 2012. LC-MS/MS method for the determination of the fungal pigment bikaverin in maize kernels as an indicator of ear rot. Food Additives & Contaminants Part A. 29(11):1736-1742. Interpretive Summary: A technique was developed to determine levels of bikaverin from corn. Bikaverin is a toxin produced by a variety of fungi during their infestation of growing corn kernels. The technique is based on the coupling of liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry. The procedure allows the sensitive detection of bikaverin from corn samples without extensive sample preparation steps. This work provides an analytical tool to grain processors seeking to assure the safety of utilization of corn based products.
Technical Abstract: Bikaverin is a polyketide metabolite produced by multiple species of the fungus Fusarium that infects plant crops, including maize. A technique was developed for the analysis of bikaverin by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. The quantitative nature of the LC-MS/MS experiment was demonstrated over a range of concentrations in maize. Limits of detection for the method were shown, and susceptibility of the method to matrix effects from maize was also evaluated. The method was applied to evaluate the ability of the maize pathogen Fusarium verticillioides to produce bikaverin in developing maize ears grown in an agricultural field.