Special Issue "Phytotoxins and Mycotoxins: Two Different Sides of the Same Coin - the Memory of Prof. Antonio Bottalico"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Antonio Moretti
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Affiliation: Institute of Science of Food Production (ISPA), National Research Council (CNR), Via Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari (BA), Italy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fungi can produce a wide array of secondary metabolites. Many of these metabolites can express their toxicity as phytotoxins in plants causing disease symptoms on different plant organs. Other metabolites, although produced by fungi in the field during the plant colonization process, have no known harmful activity toward plants but can be dangerous as mycotoxins if they are consumed by humans or animals. Finally, some mycotoxins, e.g., the trichothecenes produced by Fusarium species, can also act as virulence factors toward plants and are toxic to humans and animals. In response to these metabolites, some plants produce enzymes that modify the metabolite’s structure. These modified compounds, termed “masked” or “modified” mycotoxins, are less toxic to plants. When modified mycotoxins are ingested by humans or animals, the modifications can be reversed, and the toxins become bioavailable within the intestinal tract and a renewed health concern. The Special Issue, dedicated to the memory of Prof. Antonio Bottalico, solicits scientific contributions on both phytotoxins and mycotoxins to reflect the main pillars of the scientific activity of this pioneering researcher on toxigenic fungi. A second objective of this Special Issue is to highlight that phytotoxins and mycotoxins are two different sides of the same coin and to demonstrate the great abilities of toxigenic fungi to use secondary metabolites to colonize environmental substrates and to preserve themselves.

Dr. Antonio Moretti
Prof. Dr. Antonio F. Logrieco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • toxicity to plants
  • mycotoxins as a pathogenicity factor
  • masked mycotoxins
  • food safety

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Mycotoxin Profile and Phylogeny of Pathogenic Alternaria Species Isolated from Symptomatic Tomato Plants in Lebanon
Toxins 2021, 13(8), 513; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13080513 - 22 Jul 2021
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The tomato is one of the most consumed agri-food products in Lebanon. Several fungal pathogens, including Alternaria species, can infect tomato plants during the whole growing cycle. Alternaria infections cause severe production and economic losses in field and during storage. In addition, Alternaria [...] Read more.
The tomato is one of the most consumed agri-food products in Lebanon. Several fungal pathogens, including Alternaria species, can infect tomato plants during the whole growing cycle. Alternaria infections cause severe production and economic losses in field and during storage. In addition, Alternaria species represent a serious toxicological risk since they are able to produce a wide range of mycotoxins, associated with different toxic activities on human and animal health. Several Alternaria species were detected on tomatoes, among which the most important are A. solani, A. alternata, and A. arborescens. A set of 49 Alternaria strains isolated from leaves and stems of diseased tomato plants were characterised by using a polyphasic approach. All strains were included in the recently defined phylogenetic Alternaria section and grouped in three well-separated sub-clades, namely A. alternata (24 out of 49), A. arborescens (12 out of 49), and A. mali morpho-species (12 out of 49). One strain showed high genetic similarity with an A.limoniasperae reference strain. Chemical analyses showed that most of the Alternaria strains, cultured on rice, were able to produce alternariol (AOH), alternariol methyl ether (AME), altenuene (ALT) and tenuazonic acid (TA), with values up to 5634, 16,006, 5156, and 4507 mg kg−1, respectively. In addition, 66% of the strains were able to co-produce simultaneously the four mycotoxins investigated. The pathogenicity test carried out on 10 Alternaria strains, representative of phylogenetic sub-clades, revealed that they were all pathogenic on tomato fruits. No significant difference among strains was observed, although A. alternata and A. arborescens strains were slightly more aggressive than A. mali morpho-species strains. This paper reports new insights on mycotoxin profiles, genetic variability, and pathogenicity of Alternaria species on tomatoes. Full article
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