Special Issue "Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Florence Mathieu
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Guest Editor
Laboratoire de Génie Chimique, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, Toulouse, France
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Selma P. SNINI
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire de Génie Chimique, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, Toulouse, France

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Mycotoxins are fungal secondary metabolites and have deleterious effects on humans, animals, and plants. More than one hundred mycotoxins are known which contaminate food and feed raw materials. Fungal infection and mycotoxin contamination can occur at a pre- or post-harvest stage of production. Given the proven toxicity of mycotoxins and their widespread distribution, it is necessary to develop methods that prevent their occurrence in food and feed. To limit mycotoxin contamination, several techniques could then be adopted either in fields or during storage of harvested goods. These techniques can either directly target fungal development or work to limit mycotoxin levels. Until very recently, phytopharmaceutical products were favored to limit mycotoxin contamination. Nonetheless, the sanitary and environmental impacts of these products and their effects on food quality encourage the development of alternative strategies based on biocontrol agents or natural compounds.
The focus of this Special Issue of Toxins is to gather the most recent advances related to reducing mycotoxin contamination in food and feed using biocontrol agents and natural compounds. In this context, two main types of approaches could be proposed: Preventive methods that could be applied in the field or during storage and acting directly on fungal development and/or on mycotoxin production and curative methods that aim to detoxify contaminated matrices by eliminating the produced mycotoxin. Particular attention will be devoted to deciphering the mode of action of the proposed biocontrol strategies.

Prof. Florence MATHIEU
Dr. Selma P. SNINI
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Mycotoxins
  • Mycotoxigenic fungi
  • Biocontrol agents
  • Natural compounds
  • Detoxification
  • Microorganisms
  • Preventive approaches
  • Curative approaches

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi
Toxins 2020, 12(6), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12060353 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 648
Abstract
Mycotoxins are toxic fungal secondary metabolites that contaminate food and feed [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Fullerol C60(OH)24 Nanoparticles Affect Secondary Metabolite Profile of Important Foodborne Mycotoxigenic Fungi In Vitro
Toxins 2020, 12(4), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12040213 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
Despite the efforts to control mycotoxin contamination worldwide, extensive contamination has been reported to occur in food and feed. The contamination is even more intense due to climate changes and different stressors. This study examined the impact of fullerol C60(OH)24 [...] Read more.
Despite the efforts to control mycotoxin contamination worldwide, extensive contamination has been reported to occur in food and feed. The contamination is even more intense due to climate changes and different stressors. This study examined the impact of fullerol C60(OH)24 nanoparticles (FNP) (at 0, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 ng mL−1) on the secondary metabolite profile of the most relevant foodborne mycotoxigenic fungi from genera Aspergillus, Fusarium, Alternaria and Penicillium, during growth in vitro. Fungi were grown in liquid RPMI 1640 media for 72 h at 29 °C, and metabolites were investigated by the LC-MS/MS dilute and shoot multimycotoxin method. Exposure to FNP showed great potential in decreasing the concentrations of 35 secondary metabolites; the decreases were dependent on FNP concentration and fungal genus. These results are a relevant guide for future examination of fungi-FNP interactions in environmental conditions. The aim is to establish the exact mechanism of FNP action and determine the impact such interactions have on food and feed safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessArticle
Phenyllactic Acid Produced by Geotrichum candidum Reduces Fusarium sporotrichioides and F. langsethiae Growth and T-2 Toxin Concentration
Toxins 2020, 12(4), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12040209 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Fusarium sporotrichioides and F. langsethiae are present in barley crops. Their toxic metabolites, mainly T-2 toxin, affect the quality and safety of raw material and final products such as beer. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce Fusarium spp. proliferation and T-2 toxin [...] Read more.
Fusarium sporotrichioides and F. langsethiae are present in barley crops. Their toxic metabolites, mainly T-2 toxin, affect the quality and safety of raw material and final products such as beer. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce Fusarium spp. proliferation and T-2 toxin contamination during the brewing process. The addition of Geotrichum candidum has been previously demonstrated to reduce the proliferation of Fusarium spp. and the production of toxic metabolites, but the mechanism of action is still not known. Thus, this study focuses on the elucidation of the interaction mechanism between G. candidum and Fusarium spp. in order to improve this bioprocess. First, over a period of 168 h, the co-culture kinetics showed an almost 90% reduction in T-2 toxin concentration, starting at 24 h. Second, sequential cultures lead to a reduction in Fusarium growth and T-2 toxin concentration. Simultaneously, it was demonstrated that G. candidum produces phenyllactic acid (PLA) at the early stages of growth, which could potentially be responsible for the reduction in Fusarium growth and T-2 toxin concentration. To prove the PLA effect, F. sporotrichioides and F. langsethiae were cultivated in PLA supplemented medium. The expected results were achieved with 0.3 g/L of PLA. These promising results contribute to a better understanding of the bioprocess, allowing its optimization at an up-scaled industrial level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Biological Control of Aflatoxin in Maize Grown in Serbia
Toxins 2020, 12(3), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12030162 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Aspergillus flavus is the main producer of aflatoxin B1, one of the most toxic contaminants of food and feed. With global warming, climate conditions have become favourable for aflatoxin contamination of agricultural products in several European countries, including Serbia. The infection of maize [...] Read more.
Aspergillus flavus is the main producer of aflatoxin B1, one of the most toxic contaminants of food and feed. With global warming, climate conditions have become favourable for aflatoxin contamination of agricultural products in several European countries, including Serbia. The infection of maize with A. flavus, and aflatoxin synthesis can be controlled and reduced by application of a biocontrol product based on non-toxigenic strains of A. flavus. Biological control relies on competition between atoxigenic and toxigenic strains. This is the most commonly used biological control mechanism of aflatoxin contamination in maize in countries where aflatoxins pose a significant threat. Mytoolbox Af01, a native atoxigenic A. flavus strain, was obtained from maize grown in Serbia and used to produce a biocontrol product that was applied in irrigated and non-irrigated Serbian fields during 2016 and 2017. The application of this biocontrol product reduced aflatoxin levels in maize kernels (51–83%). The biocontrol treatment had a highly significant effect of reducing total aflatoxin contamination by 73%. This study showed that aflatoxin contamination control in Serbian maize can be achieved through biological control methods using atoxigenic A. flavus strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessArticle
Commercial Biocontrol Agents Reveal Contrasting Comportments Against Two Mycotoxigenic Fungi in Cereals: Fusarium Graminearum and Fusarium Verticillioides
Toxins 2020, 12(3), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12030152 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of commercialized biological control agents (BCAs) against two major mycotoxigenic fungi in cereals, Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium verticillioides, which are trichothecene and fumonisin producers, respectively. With these objectives in mind, three commercial [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of commercialized biological control agents (BCAs) against two major mycotoxigenic fungi in cereals, Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium verticillioides, which are trichothecene and fumonisin producers, respectively. With these objectives in mind, three commercial BCAs were selected with contrasting uses and microorganism types (T. asperellum, S. griseoviridis, P. oligandrum) and a culture medium was identified to develop an optimized dual culture bioassay method. Their comportment was examined in dual culture bioassay in vitro with both fusaria to determine growth and mycotoxin production kinetics. Antagonist activity and variable levels or patterns of mycotoxinogenesis inhibition were observed depending on the microorganism type of BCA or on the culture conditions (e.g., different nutritional sources), suggesting that contrasting biocontrol mechanisms are involved. S. griseoviridis leads to a growth inhibition zone where the pathogen mycelium structure is altered, suggesting the diffusion of antimicrobial compounds. In contrast, T. asperellum and P. oligandrum are able to grow faster than the pathogen. T. asperellum showed the capacity to degrade pathogenic mycelia, involving chitinolytic activities. In dual culture bioassay with F. graminearum, this BCA reduced the growth and mycotoxin concentration by 48% and 72%, respectively, and by 78% and 72% in dual culture bioassay against F. verticillioides. P. oligandrum progressed over the pathogen colony, suggesting a close type of interaction such as mycoparasitism, as confirmed by microscopic observation. In dual culture bioassay with F. graminearum, P. oligandrum reduced the growth and mycotoxin concentration by 79% and 93%, respectively. In the dual culture bioassay with F. verticillioides, P. oligandrum reduced the growth and mycotoxin concentration by 49% and 56%, respectively. In vitro dual culture bioassay with different culture media as well as the nutritional phenotyping of different microorganisms made it possible to explore the path of nutritional competition in order to explain part of the observed inhibition by BCAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessArticle
In-Vitro Application of a Qatari Burkholderia cepacia strain (QBC03) in the Biocontrol of Mycotoxigenic Fungi and in the Reduction of Ochratoxin A biosynthesis by Aspergillus carbonarius
Toxins 2019, 11(12), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11120700 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1557
Abstract
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain filamentous fungi, causing human and animal health issues upon the ingestion of contaminated food and feed. Among the safest approaches to the control of mycotoxigenic fungi and mycotoxin detoxification is the application of microbial biocontrol agents. [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain filamentous fungi, causing human and animal health issues upon the ingestion of contaminated food and feed. Among the safest approaches to the control of mycotoxigenic fungi and mycotoxin detoxification is the application of microbial biocontrol agents. Burkholderia cepacia is known for producing metabolites active against a broad number of pathogenic fungi. In this study, the antifungal potential of a Qatari strain of Burkholderia cepacia (QBC03) was explored. QBC03 exhibited antifungal activity against a wide range of mycotoxigenic, as well as phytopathogenic, fungal genera and species. The QBC03 culture supernatant significantly inhibited the growth of Aspergillus carbonarius, Fusarium culmorum and Penicillium verrucosum in PDA medium, as well as A. carbonarius and P. verrucosum biomass in PDB medium. The QBC03 culture supernatant was found to dramatically reduce the synthesis of ochratoxin A (OTA) by A. carbonarius, in addition to inducing mycelia malformation. The antifungal activity of QBC03’s culture extract was retained following thermal treatment at 100 °C for 30 min. The findings of the present study advocate that QBC03 is a suitable biocontrol agent against toxigenic fungi, due to the inhibitory activity of its thermostable metabolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Effects of Essential Oil Citral on the Growth, Mycotoxin Biosynthesis and Transcriptomic Profile of Alternaria alternata
Toxins 2019, 11(10), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11100553 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
Alternaria alternata is a critical phytopathogen that causes foodborne spoilage and produces a polyketide mycotoxin, alternariol (AOH), and its derivative, alternariol monomethyl ether (AME). In this study, the inhibitory effects of the essential oil citral on the fungal growth and mycotoxin production of [...] Read more.
Alternaria alternata is a critical phytopathogen that causes foodborne spoilage and produces a polyketide mycotoxin, alternariol (AOH), and its derivative, alternariol monomethyl ether (AME). In this study, the inhibitory effects of the essential oil citral on the fungal growth and mycotoxin production of A. alternata were evaluated. Our findings indicated that 0.25 μL/mL (222.5 μg/mL) of citral completely suppressed mycelial growth as the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Moreover, the 1/2MIC of citral could inhibit more than 97% of the mycotoxin amount. Transcriptomic profiling was performed by comparative RNA-Seq analysis of A. alternata with or without citral treatment. Out of a total of 1334 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), 621 up-regulated and 713 down-regulated genes were identified under citral stress conditions. Numerous DEGs for cell survival, involved in ribosome and nucleolus biogenesis, RNA processing and metabolic processes, and protein processing, were highly expressed in response to citral. However, a number of DEGs responsible for the metabolism of several carbohydrates and amino acids, sulfate and glutathione metabolism, the metabolism of xenobiotics and transporter activity were significantly more likely to be down-regulated. Citral induced the disturbance of cell integrity through the disorder of gene expression, which was further confirmed by the fact that exposure to citral caused irreversibly deleterious disruption of fungal spores and the inhibition of ergosterol biosynthesis. Citral perturbed the balance of oxidative stress, which was likewise verified by a reduction of total antioxidative capacity. In addition, citral was able to modulate the down-regulation of mycotoxin biosynthetic genes, including pksI and omtI. The results provide new insights for exploring inhibitory mechanisms and indicate citral as a potential antifungal and antimytoxigenic alternative for cereal storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Fengycin Produced by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 Inhibits Fusarium graminearum Growth and Mycotoxins Biosynthesis
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050295 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1842
Abstract
Fusarium graminearum is a notorious pathogen that causes Fusarium head blight (FHB) in cereal crops. It produces secondary metabolites, such as deoxynivalenol, diminishing grain quality and leading to lesser crop yield. Many strategies have been developed to combat this pathogenic fungus; however, considering [...] Read more.
Fusarium graminearum is a notorious pathogen that causes Fusarium head blight (FHB) in cereal crops. It produces secondary metabolites, such as deoxynivalenol, diminishing grain quality and leading to lesser crop yield. Many strategies have been developed to combat this pathogenic fungus; however, considering the lack of resistant cultivars and likelihood of environmental hazards upon using chemical pesticides, efforts have shifted toward the biocontrol of plant diseases, which is a sustainable and eco-friendly approach. Fengycin, derived from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42, was purified from the crude extract by HPLC and further analyzed by MALDI-TOF-MS. Its application resulted in structural deformations in fungal hyphae, as observed via scanning electron microscopy. In planta experiment revealed the ability of fengycin to suppress F. graminearum growth and highlighted its capacity to combat disease incidence. Fengycin significantly suppressed F. graminearum, and also reduced the deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), and zearalenone (ZEN) production in infected grains. To conclude, we report that fengycin produced by B. amyloliquefaciens FZB42 has potential as a biocontrol agent against F. graminearum and can also inhibit the mycotoxins produced by this fungus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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Open AccessArticle
Aspergillus flavus as a Model System to Test the Biological Activity of Botanicals: An Example on Citrullus colocynthis L. Schrad. Organic Extracts
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050286 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Citrullus colocynthis L. Schrader is an annual plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, widely distributed in the desert areas of the Mediterranean basin. Many pharmacological properties (anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, analgesic, anti-epileptic) are ascribed to different organs of this plant; extracts and derivatives of C. [...] Read more.
Citrullus colocynthis L. Schrader is an annual plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, widely distributed in the desert areas of the Mediterranean basin. Many pharmacological properties (anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, analgesic, anti-epileptic) are ascribed to different organs of this plant; extracts and derivatives of C. colocynthis are used in folk Berber medicine for the treatment of numerous diseases—such as rheumatism arthritis, hypertension bronchitis, mastitis, and even cancer. Clinical studies aimed at confirming the chemical and biological bases of pharmacological activity assigned to many plant/herb extracts used in folk medicine often rely on results obtained from laboratory preliminary tests. We investigated the biological activity of some C. colocynthis stem, leaf, and root extracts on the mycotoxigenic and phytopathogenic fungus Aspergillus flavus, testing a possible correlation between the inhibitory effect on aflatoxin biosynthesis, the phytochemical composition of extracts, and their in vitro antioxidant capacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocontrol Agents and Natural Compounds against Mycotoxinogenic Fungi)
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