Effect of biostimulant Albit on mycotoxin content in grain crops
Effect of biostimulant Albit® on mycotoxin content in grain crops
The materials of this chapter were published as the article:
- Zlotnikov A.K. Influence of Albit upon mycotoxin
content in yield / A.K Zlotnikov, T.A.Ryabchinskaya //
Protection and Quarantine of Plants // - (2013). Nr.8. P. 15-18.
The World has been facing an acute problem of mycotoxins in recent years,
though its history goes back for more than one hundred years . Cases of
mold toxins poisoning in humans and animals were known as far as in the Middle
Ages. FAO estimates show that up to a quarter of the world's foods contain
mycotoxins . One billion tons of agricultural products are under the potential
risk of mycotoxin contamination . In Russia, the amount of grain contaminated
by mycotoxins has increased tenfold in recent years. Up to 45.0-74.7% of grain
samples in the Central, Central Chernozjom, Volga-Vjatka and Volga regions
of Russia are contaminated by fungi of the genus Fusarium . The
analyses of feed, vegetation, various agricultural products, food products
show high (up to 80-100%) contamination by microscopic fungi, specifically
by toxigenic fungi in 40-60% of cases, and in 21% of cases production of mycotoxins
in hazardous concentrations was detected. More than 30% of feed and other agricultural
products are contaminated by mycotoxins . Livestock sector suffers serious
economic losses from reducing productivity and reproduction of farm animals
due to disorders caused by mycotoxins . A significant contamination of
grain by microscopic fungi of the genera Fusarium and Alternaria in
most regions of Russia shapes the urgency of the mycotoxin issues for the grain-producing
regions of the country, and stresses the need to control the quality of raw
To date, there are more than 250 species of fungi that produce several hundred
mycotoxins, of which trichothecenes, aflatoxins, patulin, ochratoxins, and
zearalenone are the most common and dangerous to the health of humans and animals.
The representatives of the trichothecene group include toxins such as T-2,
diacetoxyskirpenol, HT-2, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, roridine A, krotocin.
They are produced by both obligately saprophytic fungi (Stachybotrys alternans)
as well as plant pathogenic fungi (Trichoderma roseum, Myrothecium verrucaria,
Fusarium spp.). Major producers of T-2 toxin were isolated from feed and
food raw materials which caused foodborne toxicoses in agricultural animals
and humans. These include Fusarium poae, F. acumination, F. sporotrichioides. Deoxynivalenol
(DON, vomitoxin) is mainly produced by various strains of F. graminearum,
F. culmorum, F. nivale. It should be emphasized that one and the same
kind of producer fungus can synthesize several mycotoxins. Trichothecenes exhibit
teratogenic, cytotoxic, immunodepressive, dermatotoxic properties, affect hematopoietic
organs, central nervous system, cause leukopenia, hemorrhagic syndrome, trigger
a number of food mycotoxicoses in humans and animals. The toxic properties
are due to their involvement in the suppression of protein biosynthesis .
Among the mycotoxins produced by Fusarium fungi, special consideration
is given to deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone and fumonisin in the European
Union . Ochratoxin A, B and C are produced by Aspergillus ochraceus and Penicillium
viridicatum fungi. Ochratoxin A is the most toxic agent while it is most
often present in foods. Mycotoxins of this group have nephrotoxic, teratogenic
and immunosuppressive effects. They inhibit protein synthesis and interrupt
glycogen metabolism. Ochratoxins trigger renal disease in pigs [14, 16].
Pigs are very sensitive to mycotoxins produced by fusaria. Diseases usually
appear in Winter and Spring and in most cases have an implicit zonal dependence.
In case of an acute form of the disease, animals die within 15-20 hours after
eating their food containing the toxin . Toxic effects of T-2 toxin appear
differently in poultry, depending on the duration of its presence and concentration
in the feed. For example, in case of layers, if T-2 toxin is present in the
feed for 14-18 consecutive days, there is a decrease in egg production and
egg weight. In addition to the mentioned symptoms, prolonged use of the mycotoxin-containing
feed results in eggshell thinning, reduced hatchability, craw mucosa and gizzard
stomach lesions. Importantly, a simultaneous presence of mycotoxins such as
aflatoxin and T-2 toxin in the feed has the greatest immunosuppressive effect
– a synergy is observed .
Mycotoxin content in food and feed varies widely and can reach hundreds of
micrograms / kg, that’s why their levels are subject to regulations in many
countries. Hygienic requirements for the quality and safety of food raw materials
and food products accepted in Russia (SanPin 18.104.22.1688-01) limit the level
of T-2 toxin in grain to 0.1 mg/kg and provide for its absence in baby cereal-based
food (< 0.005 mg/kg). Wheat grain may be used for food purposes if it contains
deoxynivalenol (DON) of not more than 0.7 mg/kg. The maximum allowable concentration
of zearalenone in grain, grain products, nuts, seeds, oil seeds, fats, oils,
protein isolates is 1 mg/kg and it should be absent in baby food and dietary
food. The content of ochratoxin A in bread grain, including wheat, rye, oats,
barley, rice and grits, flakes, wheat flour, pasta should not exceed 0.005
The protection of crops against mycotoxin contamination using conventional
direct-action fungicides is not always productive, as the toxins are produced
not only by phytopathogenic but also by saprophytic, endophytic, mold fungi.
Moreover, our studies have shown that the application of chemical fungicides
may even lead to increased levels of ochratoxin in yield of barley and HT-2
toxin in wheat (Table 1). Perhaps, this is due to the suppression of non-toxigenic
The application of immunizing fungicides (including biostimulant Albit) seems
to be promising in this respect. Immunizing effect of the biostimulant allows
it to control the development of those plant pathogenic fungi which do not
manifest themselves through symptoms of disease. In particular, this applies
to toxicogenic fungi developing in ear of cereals. According to the previous
studies, Albit has biological efficacy against Fusarium head blight
in the range of 35-45%, against Alternaria blight up to 50%. Besides
that, Albit does not have general biotoxic effect .
The purpose of our work was to evaluate the effect of Albit treatment on mycotoxin
content in grain harvest. Mycotoxins in grain samples were identified by using
conventional HPLC-based techniques [7, 6] in the state-certified laboratory
TEST-Pushchino, Pushchino, Moscow oblast’. Samples were taken from field trials
conducted in different regions of Russia.
Primary research results are shown in the Table 1. The application of Albit
in recommended dosages has been found to reduce the content of ochratoxin and
trichothecenes on the background of both pure check and chemical pesticides,
in case of grain contamination above threshold levels.
Table 1. Effects of Albit on mycotoxin contamination of grain harvest
in 2010-2011 field experiments
* in brackets – % of the check level. (–) samples were not available
||OSC Chapaev breeding farm, Krasnodar kraj, 2010-2011
(40 ml/ha) in the tillering stage with herbicide
||Nastional Institute of Biological Plant Protection, Krasnodar,
|Tebuconazole-based fungicide seed dressing followed by propiconazole
+ cyproconazole-based fungicide spraying
|40 ml/ton Albit seed dressing + 40 ml/ha two-fold spraying
||Orjol Nobel-Agro LLC, Kolpnjanskij district of Orjol oblast’,
|2-fold carbendazim-based fungicide spraying
|2-fold Albit (40 ml/ha) + carbendazim-based fungicide spraying
||L.I. Tumakov’s Farm, Tokarevskij district of Tambov oblast’,
|Albit seed dressing (30 ml/t)
||National Institute of Plant Protection, Ramon’ district of
Voronezh oblast’, 2011
|Albit seed dressing (20 ml/ton) + spraying (20 ml/ha)
The further more detailed studies were conducted in oats. Oats is consumed
by animals and humans (instant cereals) in a practically unprocessed form,
so mycotoxin content in this crop is crucial compared to other grains. Furthermore,
our previous experience has shown that the concentration of toxins in the oats
grain was higher than in other cereals (Table 1).
Detailed experiment on different Albit dose applications to the Lion oat was
conducted in 2012 in the experimental field of the National Plant Protection
Institute of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences in the Voronezh oblast’.
Albit was used by the scheme proven for most cereals: pre-sowing seed treatment
and further spraying with herbicide in the tillering stage. Pure herbicide
treatment (a.i. tribenuron-methyl) served as a check. The Albit dosage is ranged
from 10 to 100 ml / ton (ha). The most dangerous trichothecene mycotoxins T-2,
HT-2, DON and ochratoxin A were selected for evaluation.
All the studied Albit dosages led to an increase in the yield of oats (by
8-12% at the check level of 3.55 t/ha). The development of diseases peculiar
to oats in this area (leaf red-brown spot and Septoria leaf spot) was observed
to a very small extent (incidence 1-2%). However, mycotoxin contamination
of grain was sufficiently large (about 1 mg/kg). The analysis of the grain
harvest has shown that Albit application has helped to reduce the content of
almost all the studied mycotoxins in it. Mycotoxin level reduction compared
with the check without Albit treatment ranged from 25% to 71% (Table 2). However,
when using certain Albit dosages, the levels of mycotoxins in grain conversely
exceeded the check levels.
Table 2. The effect of Albit on the yield and mycotoxin content in oats
grain depending on the application rate in the 2012 experiment (% of check level)
absolute mycotoxin content levels (mg/kg of grain) are given for the check variants.
|Albit application rate, ml/ton(ha)
||Mycotoxin content in grain, mg/kg
The lowest rates of Albit application has demonstrated the maximum efficiency
against trichothecene mycotoxins and a sharp jump in the level of ochratoxin
A. Alternatively, higher dosages of the biostimulant have shown increased efficiency
against ochratoxin and several maximum levels of trichothecenes deoxynivalenol.
Thus, lower dosages of Albit are more effective against those toxins produced
by Fusarium spp. and are inactive against toxins produced by fungi
of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium. At the same time,
Albit at high application rates, is less active against fusariotoxins and is
more active against ochratoxin A. According to data aggregate, the Albit effect
was the highest at the 20 ml / ton (ha) application rate since its use was
not marked by an excess of any of the mycotoxins studied (see Table 2).
In assessing the Albit effect on the total content of mycotoxins in grain,
the averaged picture shows the maximum of Albit anti-mycotoxin activity at
low application rates and the minimum at 60 ml/ton (ha) dose (see Figure
Fig. 1. The Albit application rate effect on the total content of mycotoxins
(DON, Ò-2, ÍÒ-2, ochratoxin À) in oats grain in field experiment (2012)
The data obtained are consistent with the 2011 oats experiment (Table 1) and
allow us to recommend the application of Albit in the dosage of 20 ml / ton
of seeds + 20 ml/ha to reduce mycotoxin content in oats harvest. Mycotoxin
content was reduced under Albit application by approximately 25% in the 2011
experiment with an overall higher mycotoxin content, and by 40-60% in the 2012
experiment with a lower level. The application of other dosages of Albit may,
in contrast, increase contamination of grain by some mycotoxins.
Thus, the results of the studies conducted have shown a significant effects
of Albit against mycotoxins in grain harvest. 20 ml/ton (ha) Albit application
makes sense for oats and standard recommended drug doses of 30-40 ml / ton
(ha) are reasonable for spiked cereals (wheat, barley).
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