Fumonisins in Conventional and Transgenic, Insect-Resistant Maize Intended for Fuel Ethanol Production: Implications for Fermentation Efficiency and DDGS Co-Product Quality

Bowers, Erin
Munkvold, Gary
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Mycotoxins in maize grain intended for ethanol production are enriched in co-product dried distiller’s grains and solubles (DDGS) and may be detrimental to yeast in fermentation. This study was conducted to examine the magnitude of fumonisin enrichment in DDGS and to analyze the impacts of insect injury, Fusarium ear rot severity, and fumonisin contamination on final ethanol yield. Samples of naturally-contaminated grain (0 to 35 mg/kg fumonisins) from field trials conducted in 2008–2011 were fermented and DDGS collected and analyzed for fumonisin content. Ethanol yield (determined gravimetrically) was unaffected by fumonisins in the range occurring in this study, and was not correlated with insect injury or Fusarium ear rot severity. Ethanol production was unaffected in fumonisin B1-spiked grain with concentrations from 0 to 37 mg/kg. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize often has reduced fumonisins due to its protection from insect injury and subsequent fungal infection. DDGS derived from Bt and non-Bt maize averaged 2.04 mg/kg and 8.25 mg/kg fumonisins, respectively. Fumonisins were enriched by 3.0× for 50 out of 57 hybrid × insect infestation treatment combinations; those seven that differed were Bt maize hybrids were consistently lower in fumonisins than DDGS derived from non-Bt hybrids.


This article is from Toxins 2014, 6(9), 2804-2825; doi:10.3390/toxins6092804. Posted with permission.

Fumonisin, Distillers grains, DDGS, Ethanol, Fermentation, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bt maize, GM maize