Dear Colleagues,

In the last decades the research on the Fusarium toxins, their physiological properties and way of actions resulted in EU regulations that implied binding limits for the most important Fusarium toxins for human use. In wheat the most important toxin is deoxynivalenol (DON). Maize is less used for human consumption, but the regulation is valid for the food processed from maize. The regulation created a new situation, grains above the limit value of the given toxin contamination are excluded from further processing for food or feed, for it other economic uses should be found. For the feedstuff recommendations were set for different toxins. For this reason the experiences in maize are also welcomed.

This workshop is a part of information and education activities foreseen in WP8 of MycoRed project. Further details on this project you can reach on the following website:

In the last decades research found close correlations between resistance level and toxin contamination. The data refer mostly for DON, but data on fumonisins are also available. As most of the cultivars are susceptible, the outbreak of epidemics depends mostly on weather conditions and less on agronomy. For this reason the resistance level of the variety candidates should be considered seriously as this is the most powerful mean to decrease food and feed safety risks. Several EU countries like Germany introduced the resistance control of the variety candidates, but the Chinese experience is also available.

As natural epidemics do not occur regularly, only artificial inoculation methods can be applied to characterize the resistance level of the variety candidates. At present several inoculation methods are used in both wheat and maize. As during the tests the use of two or three parallel inoculation methods would increase the work twice or three times, possibly only one will be applied in one country.

During the Workshop we would like to summarize present existing practice in countries of EU and elsewhere in the first session, to analyze existing inoculation methods and their relation with natural inoculation severity in the second session, and investigate the possibility to introduce this trait on EU level together with further research needs and tasks in the third session. This would be important as now wherever a registration took place the variety can be grown in the whole EU territory. We had cases in Hungary that registration of a cultivar was refused because of high Fusarium susceptibility, but in the other year the cultivar was grown legally in Hungary based on EU registration.

We are convinced that the EU registration process that would include the screening for FHB resistance in small grains of Fusarium ear rot in maize would be highly desirable to increase food and feed safety of grains produced in EU, would increase the profitability of the cereal sector and the industries using these row materials and would also initiate breeding firms and companies to perform a more effective breeding program for this trait. We have a further argument to concentrate to this topic. It seems now that the most effective fungicides against Fusarium must be withdrawn from production praxis du to EU regulation. As the fields cannot be unprotected, the increase of resistance is a primary interest of the EU.

As the topic has a wide interest, besides the Variety offices of the member states and the Community Plant Variety Office in Angiers, France, representatives of breeding firms and producer organizations will also be invited.

The workshop is planned for two days, March 23 and 24 in Szeged Hungary with an arrival date on 22 March and departure on late 24 or 25 March.

Registration fee is 100 Euro, including two lunches, a common dinner and the usual services like coffee breaks, technical services for presentations, book of abstracts. The cost of the internet edition will be supported by the FP7 MYCORED project.

For the workshop only a book of abstracts is planned, after the workshop we plan a compilation of existing information that will be available on websites of common interest like, the MycoRed portal, the websites of the Variety offices. Here materials will be especially of interest that report on several years tests under different environments and report data on natural and artificial inoculation.

In the case you cannot come, but you have important information to the topic, we consider these in the internet edition of the material.

We look forward to welcoming you to Szeged, Hungary.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Ákos Mesterházy