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Toxins 2015, 7(8), 3012-3029; doi:10.3390/toxins7083012

OTA-Grapes: A Mechanistic Model to Predict Ochratoxin A Risk in Grapes, a Step beyond the Systems Approach

Department of Sustainable Crop Production, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard A. Manderville
Received: 7 July 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 6 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
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Abstract

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a fungal metabolite dangerous for human and animal health due to its nephrotoxic, immunotoxic, mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic effects, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in group 2B, possible human carcinogen. This toxin has been stated as a wine contaminant since 1996. The aim of this study was to develop a conceptual model for the dynamic simulation of the A. carbonarius life cycle in grapes along the growing season, including OTA production in berries. Functions describing the role of weather parameters in each step of the infection cycle were developed and organized in a prototype model called OTA-grapes. Modelling the influence of temperature on OTA production, it emerged that fungal strains can be shared in two different clusters, based on the dynamic of OTA production and according to the optimal temperature. Therefore, two functions were developed, and based on statistical data analysis, it was assumed that the two types of strains contribute equally to the population. Model validation was not possible because of poor OTA contamination data, but relevant differences in OTA-I, the output index of the model, were noticed between low and high risk areas. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to assess/model A. carbonarius in order to predict the risk of OTA contamination in grapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: mycotoxin; fungi; climate; infection cycle; temperature; water activity; rain; Aspergillus carbonarius mycotoxin; fungi; climate; infection cycle; temperature; water activity; rain; Aspergillus carbonarius
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Paola, B.; Marco, C.L. OTA-Grapes: A Mechanistic Model to Predict Ochratoxin A Risk in Grapes, a Step beyond the Systems Approach. Toxins 2015, 7, 3012-3029.

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