A real-time PCR technique was applied for the quantification of trichothecene-producing Fusarium species (TMTRI assay) as well as the highly toxigenic Fusarium graminearum (TMFg12 assay) present in barley grain and malt. PCR results were compared to the amounts of trichothecenes detected in the samples to find out if the PCR assays can be used for trichothecene screening instead of expensive and laborious chemical analyses. DNA was extracted from ground kernels using a commercial DNA extraction kit and analysed in a LightCycler® system using specific primers and fluorogenic TaqMan probes. Both naturally and artificially contaminated grains were analysed. The TMTRI assay and the TMFg12 assay enabled the quantification of trichothecene-producing Fusarium DNA and F. graminearum DNA present in barley grain and malt samples, respectively. Both TaqMan assays were considered to be sensitive and reproducible. Linearity of the assays was 4–5 log units when pure Fusarium DNAs were tested. The amount of Fusarium DNA analysed with the TMTRI-trichothecene assay could be used for estimation of the deoxynivalenol (DON) content in barley grain. Furthermore, the TMFg12 assay for F. graminearum gave a good estimation of the DON content in north American barley and malt samples, whilst the correlation was poor among Finnish samples. DON content and the level of F. graminearum DNA were found to be naturally low in Finnish barleys.
Sarlin, T., Yli-Mattila, T., Jestoi, M., Rizzo, A., Paavanen-Huhtala, S., & Haikara, A. (2006). Real-time PCR for quantification of toxigenic Fusarium species in barley and malt. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 114(4), 371-380. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-006-0001-9