Food Science and Technology Department


First Advisor

Heather Hallen-Adams

Second Advisor

Tamra Jackson-Ziems

Third Advisor

Joseph Baumert

Date of this Version

Spring 4-14-2023


Ma, Yuchu, "Fusarium Species Structure in Nebraska Corn" (2023). (Master Thesis, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, United States).


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Food Science and Technology, Under the Supervision of Professor Heather Hallen-Adams. Lincoln, Nebraska: April 2023

Copyright © 2023 Yuchu Ma


Fusarium species are known to infect corn and cause significant yield losses and mycotoxin contamination worldwide. In this study, we investigated the diversity of Fusarium species infecting corn in Nebraska and their potential to produce fumonisins and trichothecenes. A total of 259 Fusarium isolates were collected from different corn tissues (ear, stalk, and root), revealing a significant association between the various Fusarium species complexes and different plant parts (p < 0.05). Fusarium incarnatum-equiseti species complex (FIESC) was the most widespread and abundant, followed by the Fusarium sambucinum (FSAMSC) and Fusarium fujikuroi species complexes (FFSC). In the subsequent analysis, we investigated the mycotoxin production potential of these isolates. Fusarium proliferatum was found to produce significantly higher levels of fumonisins compared to Fusarium subglutinans (p < 0.05). Regarding trichothecene production, the majority of Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium boothii isolates possessed the 15-ADON genotype, with the corresponding amplicon of 610 bp, 3 out of 4 Fusarium sporotrichioides and all the 2 Fusarium armeniacum had no fragments for TRI3. Our findings provide valuable insights into the species distribution of Fusarium in Nebraska and their potential impact on corn yield and mycotoxin contamination. This information is crucial for the development of effective disease management strategies and can aid in reducing mycotoxin-related risks to human and animal health.

Advisor: Heather Hallen-Adams