Special Issue "Fusarium and Fusarium Toxins"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Florence Richard-Forget
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
INRAE, UR 1264 MycSA Mycologie et Sécurité des Aliments, Centre de recherche Nouvelle-Aquitaine-Bordeaux, Villenave D'Ornon, France
Interests: mycotoxins; toxigenic fungi; Fusarium mycotoxins; Fusarium species; production of mycotoxins; biosynthesis of mycotoxins
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jens Laurids Sørensen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Niels Bohrs Vej 8, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
Dr. Linda J. Harris
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The genus Fusarium is one of the most economically important genera of fungi infecting agricultural crops worldwide, causing not only severe yield losses but also mycotoxin contaminated and health-threatening food and feed commodities. Mycotoxins produced by Fusarium spp., also referred to as Fusarium mycotoxins, encompass a wide range of chemical compounds, including three of the most important mycotoxins (trichothecenes, fumonisins, zearalenone) and so-called “emerging” mycotoxins (enniatins, moniliformin, beauvericin and fusaproliferin). This wide spectrum also encloses modified forms of mycotoxins which occurrence in food and feed matrices in addition to parent forms is increasingly documented. 

Increased knowledge regarding the determinants and factors that govern the accumulation of Fusarium mycotoxins in agricultural commodities is still needed to improve the current and future management of the mycotoxin risk associated with crops and guarantee the safety of related feed and food products.

This special issue of Toxins looks forward to receiving contributions, either research papers or reviews, about the most recent significant insights covering (but not limited to)  1) genomic and epigenomic data related to Fusarium spp., 2) the biosynthetic pathways of Fusarium mycotoxins and the molecular mechanisms that regulate their expression, 3) the adaptation and evolution of toxigenic Fusarium spp. under abiotic constraints, 4) the tripartite interactions of host plant – toxigenic Fusarium – microbiota, 5) the chemistry of mycotoxins and  the mechanisms of their modification (by the fungus itself, neighbouring microorganisms and the host plant). Papers with regards to new sustainable control and mitigation strategies and new knowledge that will help anticipating the evolution of the mycotoxin associated-risks in response to modifications in agronomic practices and to climate change are also welcome.

Dr. Florence Richard-Forget
Prof. Dr. Jens Laurids Sørensen
Dr. Linda J. Harris
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Fusarium
  • mycotoxins
  • trichothecenes
  • fumonisins
  • zearalenone
  • emerging mycotoxins
  • modified forms of mycotoxins
  • prevention
  • mitigation
  • sustainable agriculture
  • climate change

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Biocontrol Agents Reduce Progression and Mycotoxin Production of Fusarium graminearum in Spikelets and Straws of Wheat
Toxins 2021, 13(9), 597; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13090597 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 514
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the interactions between wheat plant (spikelets and straws), a strain of mycotoxigenic pathogen Fusarium graminearum and commercial biocontrol agents (BCAs). The ability of BCAs to colonize plant tissue and inhibit the pathogen or its toxin [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the interactions between wheat plant (spikelets and straws), a strain of mycotoxigenic pathogen Fusarium graminearum and commercial biocontrol agents (BCAs). The ability of BCAs to colonize plant tissue and inhibit the pathogen or its toxin production was observed throughout two phases of the life cycle of pathogens in natural conditions (colonization and survival). All evaluated BCAs showed effective reduction capacities of pathogenic traits. During establishment and the expansion stage, BCAs provoked an external growth reduction of F. graminearum (77–93% over the whole kinetic studied) and mycotoxin production (98–100% over the whole kinetic studied). Internal growth of pathogen was assessed with digital droplet polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) and showed a very strong reduction in the colonization of the internal tissues of the spikelet due to the presence of BCAs (98% on average). During the survival stage, BCAs prevented the formation of conservation perithecia of the pathogen on wheat straw (between 88 and 98% of perithecia number reduction) and showed contrasting actions on the ascospores they contain, or perithecia production (−95% on average) during survival form. The mechanisms involved in these different interactions between F. graminearum and BCAs on plant matrices at different stages of the pathogen’s life cycle were based on a reduction of toxins, nutritional and/or spatial competition, or production of anti-microbial compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium and Fusarium Toxins)
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Article
Identification and Functional Characterization of the Gene Cluster Responsible for Fusaproliferin Biosynthesis in Fusarium proliferatum
Toxins 2021, 13(7), 468; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13070468 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 872
Abstract
The emerging mycotoxin fusaproliferin is produced by Fusarium proliferatum and other related Fusarium species. Several fungi from other taxonomic groups were also reported to produce fusaproliferin or the deacetylated derivative, known as siccanol or terpestacin. Here, we describe the identification and functional characterization [...] Read more.
The emerging mycotoxin fusaproliferin is produced by Fusarium proliferatum and other related Fusarium species. Several fungi from other taxonomic groups were also reported to produce fusaproliferin or the deacetylated derivative, known as siccanol or terpestacin. Here, we describe the identification and functional characterization of the Fusarium proliferatum genes encoding the fusaproliferin biosynthetic enzymes: a terpenoid synthase, two cytochrome P450s, a FAD-oxidase and an acetyltransferase. With the exception of one gene encoding a CYP450 (FUP2, FPRN_05484), knock-out mutants of the candidate genes could be generated, and the production of fusaproliferin and intermediates was tested by LC-MS/MS. Inactivation of the FUP1 (FPRN_05485) terpenoid synthase gene led to complete loss of fusaproliferin production. Disruption of a putative FAD-oxidase (FUP4, FPRN_05486) did not only affect oxidation of preterpestacin III to terpestacin, but also of new side products (11-oxo-preterpstacin and terpestacin aldehyde). In the knock-out strains lacking the predicted acetyltransferase (FUP5, FPRN_05487) fusaproliferin was no longer formed, but terpestacin was found at elevated levels. A model for the biosynthesis of fusaproliferin and of novel derivatives found in mutants is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium and Fusarium Toxins)
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Communication
Production and Selectivity of Key Fusarubins from Fusarium solani due to Media Composition
Toxins 2021, 13(6), 376; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13060376 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 787
Abstract
Natural products display a large structural variation and different uses within a broad spectrum of industries. In this study, we investigate the influence of carbohydrates and nitrogen sources on the production and selectivity of production of four different polyketides produced by Fusarium solani [...] Read more.
Natural products display a large structural variation and different uses within a broad spectrum of industries. In this study, we investigate the influence of carbohydrates and nitrogen sources on the production and selectivity of production of four different polyketides produced by Fusarium solani, fusarubin, javanicin, bostrycoidin and anhydrofusarubin. We introduce four different carbohydrates and two types of nitrogen sources. Hereafter, a full factorial design was applied using combinations of three levels of sucrose and three levels of the two types of nitrogen. Each combination displayed different selectivity and production yields for all the compounds of interest. Response surface design was utilized to investigate possible maximum yields for the surrounding combinations of media. It was also shown that the maximum yields were not always the ones illustrating high selectivity, which is an important factor for making purification steps easier. We visualized the production over time for one of the media types, illustrating high yields and selectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium and Fusarium Toxins)
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Article
Detoxification and Excretion of Trichothecenes in Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana Expressing Fusarium graminearum Trichothecene 3-O-acetyltransferase
Toxins 2021, 13(5), 320; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13050320 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB), produces trichothecenes including deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV), and 3,7,15-trihydroxy-12,13-epoxytrichothec-9-ene (NX-3). These toxins contaminate grains and cause profound health problems in humans and animals. To explore exploiting a fungal self-protection mechanism in plants, [...] Read more.
Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB), produces trichothecenes including deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV), and 3,7,15-trihydroxy-12,13-epoxytrichothec-9-ene (NX-3). These toxins contaminate grains and cause profound health problems in humans and animals. To explore exploiting a fungal self-protection mechanism in plants, we examined the ability of F. graminearum trichothecene 3-O-acetyltransferase (FgTri101) to detoxify several key trichothecenes produced by F. graminearum: DON, 15-ADON, NX-3, and NIV. FgTri101 was cloned from F. graminearum and expressed in Arabidopsis plants. We compared the phytotoxic effects of purified DON, NIV, and NX-3 on the root growth of transgenic Arabidopsis expressing FgTri101. Compared to wild type and GUS controls, FgTri101 transgenic Arabidopsis plants displayed significantly longer root length on media containing DON and NX-3. Furthermore, we confirmed that the FgTri101 transgenic plants acetylated DON to 3-ADON, 15-ADON to 3,15-diADON, and NX-3 to NX-2, but did not acetylate NIV. Approximately 90% of the converted toxins were excreted into the media. Our study indicates that transgenic Arabidopsis expressing FgTri101 can provide plant protection by detoxifying trichothecenes and excreting the acetylated toxins out of plant cells. Characterization of plant transporters involved in trichothecene efflux will provide novel targets to reduce FHB and mycotoxin contamination in economically important plant crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium and Fusarium Toxins)
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Article
Characterization of the Exo-Metabolome of the Emergent Phytopathogen Fusarium kuroshium sp. nov., a Causal Agent of Fusarium Dieback
Toxins 2021, 13(4), 268; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13040268 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
Fusarium kuroshium is the fungal symbiont associated with the ambrosia beetle Euwallacea kuroshio, a plague complex that attacks avocado, among other hosts, causing a disease named Fusarium dieback (FD). However, the contribution of F. kuroshium to the establishment of this disease remains [...] Read more.
Fusarium kuroshium is the fungal symbiont associated with the ambrosia beetle Euwallacea kuroshio, a plague complex that attacks avocado, among other hosts, causing a disease named Fusarium dieback (FD). However, the contribution of F. kuroshium to the establishment of this disease remains unknown. To advance the understanding of F. kuroshium pathogenicity, we profiled its exo-metabolome through metabolomics tools based on accurate mass spectrometry. We found that F. kuroshium can produce several key metabolites with phytotoxicity properties and other compounds with unknown functions. Among the metabolites identified in the fungal exo-metabolome, fusaric acid (FA) was further studied due to its phytotoxicity and relevance as a virulence factor. We tested both FA and organic extracts from F. kuroshium at various dilutions in avocado foliar tissue and found that they caused necrosis and chlorosis, resembling symptoms similar to those observed in FD. This study reports for first-time insights regarding F. kuroshium associated with its virulence, which could lead to the potential development of diagnostic and management tools of FD disease and provides a basis for understanding the interaction of F. kuroshium with its host plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium and Fusarium Toxins)
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Article
Multi-Mycotoxin Contamination of Maize Silages in Flanders, Belgium: Monitoring Mycotoxin Levels from Seed to Feed
Toxins 2021, 13(3), 202; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13030202 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
Maize silage, which in Europe is the main feed for dairy cattle in winter, can be contaminated by mycotoxins. Mycotoxigenic Fusarium spp. originating from field infections may survive in badly sealed silages or re-infect at the cutting edge during feed-out. In this way, [...] Read more.
Maize silage, which in Europe is the main feed for dairy cattle in winter, can be contaminated by mycotoxins. Mycotoxigenic Fusarium spp. originating from field infections may survive in badly sealed silages or re-infect at the cutting edge during feed-out. In this way, mycotoxins produced in the field may persist during the silage process. In addition, typical silage fungi such as Penicillium spp. and Aspergillus spp. survive in silage conditions and produce mycotoxins. In this research, 56 maize silages in Flanders were sampled over the course of three years (2016–2018). The concentration of 22 different mycotoxins was investigated using a multi-mycotoxin liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method, and the presence of DNA of three Fusarium spp. (F. graminearum, F. culmorum and F. verticillioides) was analyzed in a selection of these samples using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Every maize silage contained at least two different mycotoxins. Nivalenol (NIV) and deoxynivalenol (DON) were the most prevalent (both in 97.7% of maize silages), followed by ENN B (88.7%). Concentrations often exceeded the EU recommendations for DON and zearalenone (ZEN), especially in 2017 (21.3% and 27.7% of the maize silages, respectively). No correlations were found between fungal DNA and mycotoxin concentrations. Furthermore, by ensiling maize with a known mycotoxin load in a net bag, the mycotoxin contamination could be monitored from seed to feed. Analysis of these net bag samples revealed that the average concentration of all detected mycotoxins decreased after fermentation. We hypothesize that mycotoxins are eluted, degraded, or adsorbed during fermentation, but certain badly preserved silages are prone to additional mycotoxin production during the stable phase due to oxygen ingression, leading to extremely high toxin levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium and Fusarium Toxins)
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