Determination of the Fusarium mycotoxins, fusaproliferin and beauvericin by high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

J Chromatogr A. 1999 Oct 15;858(2):175-85. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9673(99)00814-6.


A method is described using LC-MS for the detection of the mycotoxins fusaproliferin (FUS) and beauvericin (BEA) in cultures of Fusarium subglutinans and in naturally contaminated maize. Protonated molecular ion signals for FUS and BEA were observed at m/z 445 and m/z 784, respectively. Collision induced dissociation of the readily dehydrated protonated molecular ion of the sesterterpene FUS (m/z 427) led to the loss of another water molecule (m/z 409) and acetic acid (m/z 385), while the cyclic lactone trimer BEA fragmented to yield the protonated dimer (m/z 523) and monomer (m/z 262), respectively. Detection of FUS was best performed in the MS-MS mode while BEA displayed a stronger signal in the MS mode. The on-column instrumental detection limits for pure FUS and BEA were found to be 2 ng and 20 pg (S/N=2) while those in naturally contaminated maize were 1 microg/kg and 0.5 microg/kg, respectively. Five South African strains of F. subglutinans were analyzed following methanol extraction of which four produced FUS at levels between 330 mg/kg and 2630 mg/kg while only three produced BEA at levels between 140 mg/kg and 700 mg/kg. Application of this method to naturally contaminated maize samples from the Transkei region of South Africa showed FUS at levels of 8.8-39.6 microg/kg and BEA at 7.6-238.8 microg/kg.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Depsipeptides*
  • Fusarium / chemistry*
  • Fusarium / isolation & purification
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Mycotoxins / analysis*
  • Peptides*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Terpenes / analysis*
  • Zea mays / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Depsipeptides
  • Mycotoxins
  • Peptides
  • Terpenes
  • fusaproliferin
  • beauvericin