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Modeling Deoxynivalenol Contamination of Wheat in Northwestern Europe for Climate Change Assessments

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Climate change will affect mycotoxin contamination of feed and food. Mathematical models for predicting mycotoxin concentrations in cereal grains are useful for estimating the impact of climate change on these toxins. The objective of the current study was to construct a descriptive model to estimate climate change impacts on deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination of mature wheat grown in northwestern Europe. Observational data from 717 wheat fields in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and The Netherlands were analyzed, including the DON concentrations in mature wheat, agronomical practices, and local weather. Multiple regression analyses were conducted, and the best set of explanatory variables, mainly including weather factors, was selected. The final model included the following variables: flowering date, length of time between flowering and harvest, wheat resistance to Fusarium infection, and several climatic variables related to relative humidity, temperature, and rainfall during critical stages of wheat cultivation. The model accounted for 50 % of the variance, which was sufficient to make this model useful for estimating the trends of climate change on DON contamination of wheat in northwestern Europe. Application of the model in possible climate change scenarios is illustrated.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: RIKILT—Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P. O. Box 230, NL-6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands. 2: Biometris, Plant Sciences Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 100, NL-6700 AC Wageningen, The Netherlands 3: Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Hogskoleveien 7, N-1432 Ås Norway 4: Lantmannen Lantbruk, SE-531 87 Lidköping, Sweden 5: MTT Agrifood Research Finland, FI-31600 Jokioinen, Finland 6: Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 69, NL-6700 AB Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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