Storage of freshly harvested fruit is a key factor in modulating their supply for several months after harvest; however, their quality can be reduced by pathogen attack. Fruit pathogens may infect their host through damaged surfaces, such as mechanical injuries occurring during growing, harvesting, and packing, leading to increased colonization as the fruit ripens. Of particular concern are fungal pathogens that not only macerate the host tissue but also secrete significant amounts of mycotoxins. Many studies have described the importance of physiological factors, including stage of fruit development, biochemical factors (ripening, C and N content), and environmental factors (humidity, temperature, water deficit) on the occurrence of mycotoxins. However, those factors usually show a correlative effect on fungal growth and mycotoxin accumulation. Recent reports have suggested that host factors can induce fungal metabolism, leading to the synthesis and accumulation of mycotoxins. This review describes the new vision of host-factor impact on the regulation of mycotoxin biosynthetic gene clusters underlying the complex regulation of mycotoxin accumulation in ripening fruit.
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