Fusarium infection is characterized by white, grayish or pinkish mould on single kernels scattered around the cob. White streaks, referred to as “star-bursting”, can be seen on kernel surfaces. Multiple infected kernels can be scattered around the cob, differentiating Fusarium ear rot from Gibberella, which typically appears as clumps of infected kernels.
Fusarium ear rot reduces yield and grain quality. Fusarium verticillioides produces the mycotoxin fumonisin, which can be fatal to pigs and horses, and is a human carcinogen.