Next Article in Journal
Clostridium perfringens Enterotoxin: The Toxin Forms Highly Cation-Selective Channels in Lipid Bilayers
Next Article in Special Issue
Phylogeny and Mycotoxin Characterization of Alternaria Species Isolated from Wheat Grown in Tuscany, Italy
Previous Article in Journal
Subtype Specificity of β-Toxin Tf1a from Tityus fasciolatus in Voltage Gated Sodium Channels
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Toxins 2018, 10(9), 340;

Effect of Cinnamaldehyde on Morphological Alterations of Aspergillus ochraceus and Expression of Key Genes Involved in Ochratoxin A Biosynthesis

Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Agro-Products Quality and Safety Control in Storage and Transport Process, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100193, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [1794 KB, uploaded 22 August 2018]   |  


Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a potent nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic, and teratogenic compound which is a significant mycotoxin contaminates cereals during storage. Aspergillus ochraceus is the most common producer of OTA in cereals and cereal-derived products. Cinnamaldehyde is a natural substance derived from plant cinnamon playing an important role in the reduction of OTA contamination. In this study, the antifungal and antitoxigenic effect of cinnamaldehyde was investigated with its mechanisms of inhibition of fungal growth at the morphological and ultrastructural levels, and inhibition of OTA biosynthesis at the transcriptional level. Significant A. ochraceus growth was inhibited at 0.4–1.6 mmol/L with fumigation. A. ochraceus exposed to 0.4 mmol/L of cinnamaldehyde indicated irreversible harmful morphological and ultrastructural modifications such as the folding of the cell, the loss of integrity of the cell wall, the disruption of plasma membrane, the destruction of the mitochondria, and the absence of intracellular organelles. These alterations may be attributed to its inhibition of enzymatic reactions that regulate cell wall synthesis, thus disturbing the morphogenesis and growth of A. ochraceus. In the presence of cinnamaldehyde, the tested biosynthetic and regulatory genes like pks, nrps, veA, laeA and velB were highly downregulated. Moreover, the downregulation effect of cinnamaldehyde increased proportionally with the concentrations. These results suggest that the decrease of OTA production by cinnamaldehyde is attributed to the downregulation of the transcriptional levels of OTA biosynthetic and regulatory genes besides the inhibition of fungal growth. The study reveals the mechanisms of the antifungal and antitoxigenic activities of cinnamaldehyde against A. ochraceus, and further emphasizes that cinnamaldehyde could be a safe and effective natural agents against OTA contamination during cereals storage. View Full-Text
Keywords: ochratoxin A; Aspergillus ochraceus; cinnamaldehyde; gene expression; real-time PCR ochratoxin A; Aspergillus ochraceus; cinnamaldehyde; gene expression; real-time PCR

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, L.; Jin, J.; Liu, X.; Wang, Y.; Liu, Y.; Zhao, Y.; Xing, F. Effect of Cinnamaldehyde on Morphological Alterations of Aspergillus ochraceus and Expression of Key Genes Involved in Ochratoxin A Biosynthesis. Toxins 2018, 10, 340.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top