Special Issue "Coffee, Fungi, Mycotoxins, and Climate Change"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. R. Russell M. Paterson
Website
Guest Editor
CEB—Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4700-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: fungi; mycotoxins; climate change; fungal taxonomy; analytical chemistry; oil palm; Aspergillus; Penicillium; Ganoderma
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue in Microorganisms on coffee, mycotoxins, and climate change is now open for paper submission from researchers. This is a natural progression from the successful review on the topic by Paterson et al. (2014) to which reference can be made. Coffee is one of the world's most traded commodities, and climate change (or the climate emergency) has at last become virtually the top public and scientific concern. Mycotoxins are of major relevance to the need for healthy and sustainable foods, again of primary importance to the world. Climate change has a major detrimental effect on the ability to grow coffee, and where it can no longer grow, there will be no mycotoxin problem. There will be regions of a marginal climate for growing coffee where the product will be more susceptible to mycotoxin contamination from fungi. Newly-planted coffee may have low levels of mycotoxins. The principal mycotoxin of concern is ochratoxin A, although others are becoming relevant. There are many countries now involved in coffee production, so what is the situation for each country? The taxonomy of the producing fungi is evolving, and we need to know the current state of the systematics of these groups. Are the analytical and taxonomic schemes suitable for the purpose, especially for Aspergillus, or are some too complicated for developing countries? Novel species may be emerging under climate change. What are the appropriate computer models for assessing climate change, coffee, and mycotoxins? The optimal methods for controlling mycotoxins in coffee, especially under climate change, require explanation. These are some of the questions we will address with this germane Special Issue, and we enthusiastically encourage you to submit research and review papers in these areas.

We are requesting papers in:

  • Modeling the effect of climate change on coffee growing;
  • Current and modeling future levels of OTA in coffee in Brazil;
  • Current and modeling future levels of OTA in coffee in Colombia;
  • Current and modeling future levels of OTA in coffee in Vietnam;
  • Fungi involved in OTA production in Brazil;
  • Fungi involved in OTA production in Colombia;
  • Fungi involved in OTA production in Vietnam;
  • Fungi involved in OTA production globally (apart from Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam);
  • Amelioration of climate change on coffee growing;
  • Amelioration of OTA fungi growing on coffee;
  • Other mycotoxins and fungi on coffee;
  • The effect of coffee disease, e.g., rust fungus (e.g., Hemileia vastatrix) on mycotoxin levels of coffee;
  • Effect of climate change on rust fungi, e.g., Hemileia vastatrix.

Paterson, R.R.M., Lima, N. & Taniwaki, M.H. (2014) Coffee, mycotoxins and climate change. Food Research International, 61, 1-15.

Prof. R. Russell M. Paterson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • coffee
  • ochratoxin A
  • mycotoxins
  • Aspergillus
  • climate change
  • global heating
  • modeling
  • amelioration

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Potential Control of Mycotoxigenic Fungi and Ochratoxin A in Stored Coffee Using Gaseous Ozone Treatment
Microorganisms 2020, 8(10), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101462 - 23 Sep 2020
Abstract
The objective of this study was to examine the effect of treatment of Arabica green coffee beans with gaseous ozone (O3) for the control of ochratoxigenic fungi and ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination by Aspergillus westerdijkiae, A. ochraceus, and A. [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to examine the effect of treatment of Arabica green coffee beans with gaseous ozone (O3) for the control of ochratoxigenic fungi and ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination by Aspergillus westerdijkiae, A. ochraceus, and A. carbonarius during storage. Studies included (i) relative control of the populations of each of these three species when inoculated on irradiated green coffee beans of different initial water availabilities using 400 and 600 ppm gaseous O3 treatment for 60 min at a flow rate of 6 L−1 and on OTA contamination after 12 days storage at 30 °C and (ii) effect of 600 ppm O3 treatment on natural populations of green stored coffee beans at 0.75, 0.90, and 0.95 water activity (aw) or with additional inoculum of a mixture of these three ochratoxigenic fungi after treatment and storage for 12 days at 30 °C on fungal populations and OTA contamination. Exposure to 400 and 600 ppm O3 of coffee beans inoculated with the toxigenic species showed that there was less effect on fungal populations at the lowered aw (0.75). However, toxigenic fungal populations significantly increased 48 h after exposure and when stored at 0.90 and 0.95 aw for 12 days. All three species produced high amounts of OTA in both O3 treatments of the wetter coffee beans at 0.90 and 0.95 aw. Gaseous O3 (600 ppm) treatment of naturally contaminated green coffee beans had little effect on fungal populations after treatment, regardless of the initial aw level. However, after storage, there was some reduction (26%) observed in coffee at 0.95 aw. In addition, no fungal populations or OTA contamination occurred in the 0.75 and 0.90 aw treatments after exposure to 600 ppm gaseous O3 and storage for 12 days. It appears that under wetter conditions (≥0.90–95 aw) it is unlikely that fungal populations and OTA contamination of stored coffee beans, even with such high O3 concentrations would be controlled. The results are discussed in the context of potential application of O3 as an intervention system for stored coffee post-fermentation and during medium term storage and transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coffee, Fungi, Mycotoxins, and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Resilience of Aspergillus westerdijkiae Strains to Interacting Climate-Related Abiotic Factors: Effects on Growth and Ochratoxin A Production on Coffee-Based Medium and in Stored Coffee
Microorganisms 2020, 8(9), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8091268 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
We examined the resilience of strains of Aspergillus westerdijkiae in terms of growth and ochratoxin A (OTA) production in relation to: (a) two-way interacting climate-related abiotic factors of water activity (aw, 0.99–0.90) × temperature (25–37 °C) on green coffee and roasted [...] Read more.
We examined the resilience of strains of Aspergillus westerdijkiae in terms of growth and ochratoxin A (OTA) production in relation to: (a) two-way interacting climate-related abiotic factors of water activity (aw, 0.99–0.90) × temperature (25–37 °C) on green coffee and roasted coffee-based media; (b) three-way climate-related abiotic factors (temperature, 30 vs. 35 °C; water stress, 0.98–0.90 aw; CO2, 400 vs. 1000 ppm) on growth and OTA production on a 6% green coffee extract-based matrix; and (c) the effect of three-way climate-related abiotic factors on OTA production in stored green coffee beans. Four strains of A. westerdijkiae grew equally well on green or roasted coffee-based media with optimum 0.98 aw and 25–30 °C. Growth was significantly slower on roasted than green coffee-based media at 35 °C, regardless of aw level. Interestingly, on green coffee-based media OTA production was optimum at 0.98–0.95 aw and 30 °C. However, on roasted coffee-based media very little OTA was produced. Three-way climate-related abiotic factors were examined on two of these strains. These interacting factors significantly reduced growth of the A. westerdijkiae strains, especially at 35 °C × 1000 ppm CO2 and all aw levels when compared to 30 °C. At 35 °C × 1000 ppm CO2 there was some stimulation of OTA production by the two A. westerdijkiae strains, especially under water stress. In stored green coffee beans optimum OTA was produced at 0.95–0.97 aw/30 °C. In elevated CO2 and 35 °C, OTA production was stimulated at 0.95–0.90 aw. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coffee, Fungi, Mycotoxins, and Climate Change)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Coffee Cultivation and Mycotoxigenic Fungi
Microorganisms 2020, 8(10), 1625; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101625 - 21 Oct 2020
Abstract
Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world. It plays a significant role in the global economy, employing over 125 million people. However, it is possible that this vital crop is threatened by changing climate conditions and fungal infections. This [...] Read more.
Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world. It plays a significant role in the global economy, employing over 125 million people. However, it is possible that this vital crop is threatened by changing climate conditions and fungal infections. This paper reviews how suitable areas for coffee cultivation and the toxigenic fungi species of Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium will be affected due to climate change. By combining climate models with species distribution models, a number of studies have investigated the future distribution of coffee cultivation. Studies predict that suitable coffee cultivation area could drop by ~50% under representation concentration pathway (RCP) 6.0 by 2050 for both Arabica and Robusta. These findings agree with other studies which also see an altitudinal migration of suitable cultivation areas to cooler regions, but limited scope for latitudinal migration owing to coffee’s inability to tolerate seasonal temperature changes. Increased temperatures will see an overall increase in mycotoxin production such as aflatoxins, particularly in mycotoxigenic fungi (e.g., Aspergillus flavus) more suited to higher temperatures. Arabica and Robusta’s limited ability to relocate means both species will be grown in less suitable climates, increasing plant stress and making coffee more susceptible to fungal infection and mycotoxins. Information regarding climate change parameters with respect to mycotoxin concentrations in real coffee samples is provided and how the changed climate affects mycotoxins in non-coffee systems is discussed. In a few areas where relocating farms is possible, mycotoxin contamination may decrease due to the “parasites lost” phenomenon. More research is needed to include the effect of mycotoxins on coffee under various climate change scenarios, as currently there is a significant knowledge gap, and only generalisations can be made. Future modelling of coffee cultivation, which includes the influence of atmospheric carbon dioxide fertilisation and forest management, is also required; however, all indications show that climate change will have an extremely negative effect on future coffee production worldwide in terms of both a loss of suitable cultivation areas and an increase in mycotoxin contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coffee, Fungi, Mycotoxins, and Climate Change)
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