The mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEN) is produced by various Fusarium fungi and frequently found as a contaminant in food and feed. There are reports in the literature that several closely related analogues of ZEN are also formed in cultures of Fusarium species. We have therefore analyzed the organic extract from a 40 day culture of Fusarium graminearum by LC-DAD-MS and detected 15 compounds, which could be congeners of ZEN because of their ultraviolet, mass spectroscopy, and tandem mass spectroscopy spectra. In addition to confirming the previously reported α- and β-stereoisomers of 5-hydroxy-ZEN and 10-hydroxy-ZEN, we identified seven ZEN congeners for the first time. One of the major novel congeners was shown by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chemical synthesis to have the structure of an aliphatic ZEN epoxide, whereas two minor products proved to be the corresponding dihydrodiols. In addition, three stereoisomers of a cyclization product of the dihydrodiols, carrying a spiro-acetal group, were identified as fungal products for the first time. The latter may be artifacts, because the ZEN epoxide and dihydrodiol are unstable under acidic conditions and rearrange easily to the spiro-acetal compounds.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 10/2010; 58(22):12055-62. DOI:10.1021/jf1022498 · 3.11 Impact Factor