Special Issue "2nd MycoKey International Conference - Integrated Solutions for Mycotoxin Management"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

After the successful conference organized in Ghent, in 2017, we are going to organize the 2nd MYCOKEY International Conference in Wuhan, China, 16–18 September, 2018, entitled “Integrated Solutions for Mycotoxin Management” .

 In recent years, with global warming, change of cultivation systems and differentiation of toxigenic fungi, the world is facing increased challenges of mycotoxin contamination, which result in problems in food safety and international trade. MYCOKEY is an international cooperation project (http://www.mycokey.eu/) mainly supported by the EU and China, with the aim to generate innovative and integrated solutions that will support stakeholders in effective and sustainable mycotoxin management along food and feed chains. This 2nd MYCOKEY International Conference will provide an academic exchange platform for government, researchers and companies, strengthen global knowledge on mycotoxins, extend global cooperation networks and promote the global development of mycotoxin management technology and industry. Through this conference, we will present scientific and technological advances showing the most recent research results and integrated approaches to boost innovations in the agro-food sector. In the context the 3rd MycoKey-MyToolBox meeting will be also organized as an EU-China-Mycotoxin Forum.

The Special Issue is open for all advanced contributions (research papers, as well as review papers) related to the following topics in mycotoxin research:

  • Biodiversity and Toxigenic Fungi Monitoring
  • Mycotoxin detection technology
  • Functional Genomics of Toxigenic Fungi
  • Prevention in the field
  • Modelling and ICT Solutions
  • Health and Toxicology
  • Remediation and Intervention
  • Food and Feed Processing
  • Mycotoxin Management in Asia

Particular attention will be dedicated to contributions addressing effective prevention and reduction of the risk of mycotoxin contamination along chain to give practical answers to requests coming from markets and producers.

Dr. Antonio F. Logrieco
Prof. Jie Feng
Prof. Peiwu Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Mycotoxins
  • Toxigenic fungi
  • Food safety

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Morphological and Transcriptomic Analysis of the Inhibitory Effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on Aspergillus flavus Growth and Aflatoxin Production
Toxins 2019, 11(11), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11110636 - 01 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Lactobacillus plantarum, as a natural bio-preservative, has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. In this study, 22 L. plantarum strains were tested against the aflatoxin-producing fungus, Aspergillus flavus; strain IAMU80070 showed the highest antifungal activity. At a concentration [...] Read more.
Lactobacillus plantarum, as a natural bio-preservative, has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. In this study, 22 L. plantarum strains were tested against the aflatoxin-producing fungus, Aspergillus flavus; strain IAMU80070 showed the highest antifungal activity. At a concentration of 5 × 105 colony-forming units (CFU) mL−1, it completely inhibited A. flavus growth and decreased aflatoxin production by 93%. Furthermore, ultrastructural examination showed that IAMU80070 destroyed the cellular structure of hyphae and spores. To explore the inhibitory effect of IAMU80070 on A. flavus at the transcriptional level, transcriptome data were obtained and subjected to Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses. The aflatoxin biosynthetic process was the most significantly downregulated functional category, while genes implicated in the synthesis and organization of cell wall polysaccharides were upregulated. Quantitative real-time PCR results verified the credibility and reliability of the RNA sequencing data. These results provided insight into the transcriptome of A. flavus in response to the antagonistic effects of L. plantarum IAMU80070. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Deoxynivalenol-3-Glucoside Content Is Highly Associated with Deoxynivalenol Levels in Two-Row Barley Genotypes of Importance to Canadian Barley Breeding Programs
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11060319 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a multipurpose crop that can be harvested as grain or cut prior to maturity for use as forage. Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease of barley that reduces quality of grain. FHB can also result [...] Read more.
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a multipurpose crop that can be harvested as grain or cut prior to maturity for use as forage. Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease of barley that reduces quality of grain. FHB can also result in the accumulation of mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). Breeding FHB resistant varieties has been a long-term goal of many barley-producing countries, including Canada. While the genetic basis of DON detoxification via production of less-phytotoxic conjugates such as DON-3-glucoside (DON3G) is well documented in barley, little information exists in reference to varietal response. Over two years, 16 spring, two-row barley genotypes, of importance to western Canadian barley breeding programs, were grown as short-rows and inoculated following spike emergence with a Fusarium graminearum conidia suspension. Half of the plots were harvested at soft dough stage and then dissected into rachis and grain components, whereas the remainder was harvested at maturity. Multiple Fusarium-mycotoxins were assayed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Mycotoxin content was elevated at the earlier harvest point, especially in the rachis tissue. DON3G constituted a significant percentage (26%) of total trichothecene content and thus its co-occurrence with DON should be considered by barley industries. DON3G was highly correlated with DON and 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3ADON). The ratio of D3G/DON exhibited consistency across genotypes, however more-resistant genotypes were characterized by a higher ratio at the soft-dough stage followed by a decrease at maturity. Plant breeding practices that use DON content as a biomarker for resistance would likely result in the development of barley cultivars with lower total DON-like compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Phylogenetic Relationships, Trichothecene Chemotype Diversity and Aggressiveness of Strains in a Global Collection of Fusarium graminearum Species
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050263 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused principally by the species belonging to the Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC), is an important disease in wheat, barley, and other small grain crops worldwide. Grain infected with species in the FGSC may be contaminated with trichothecene mycotoxins [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused principally by the species belonging to the Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC), is an important disease in wheat, barley, and other small grain crops worldwide. Grain infected with species in the FGSC may be contaminated with trichothecene mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV). In this study, we characterized the phylogenetic relationships, chemotype diversity, phenotypic characters, and aggressiveness of 150 strains in FGSC collected from eight different countries. Phylogenetic analysis based on portions of translation elongation factor 1-α (EF-1α) gene from 150 strains revealed six species in the FGSC, F. graminearum s.s, F. asiaticum, F. meridionale, F. cortaderiae, F. boothii, and F. austroamericanum. In this collection, 50% of the strains were 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), 35% were 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON) and 15% were NIV. Evaluation of strains on moderately resistant (MR) wheat cultivar Carberry indicated that there is no significant difference among the species for FHB disease severity (DS), fusarium damaged kernel percentage (FDK%) and DON production. However, significant differences were observed among the chemotypes. Results showed significantly higher FHB DS, FDK%, DON production, growth rates, and macroconidia production for the 3-ADON strains than the 15-ADON and NIV strains. In addition, significant differences for FHB response variables were observed among the strains from different countries. Our results demonstrate that type and amount of trichothecene produced by a strain play a key role in determining the level of aggressiveness of that particular strain, regardless of the species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring of Fusarium Species and Trichothecene Genotypes Associated with Fusarium Head Blight on Wheat in Hebei Province, China
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050243 - 28 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
To clarify the changes in field populations of Fusarium head blight (FHB) pathogens over a decade, Fusarium species and trichothecene genotypes associated with FHB on wheat were monitored in Hebei province during the periods 2005–2006 and 2013–2016. Fusarium species determination was carried out [...] Read more.
To clarify the changes in field populations of Fusarium head blight (FHB) pathogens over a decade, Fusarium species and trichothecene genotypes associated with FHB on wheat were monitored in Hebei province during the periods 2005–2006 and 2013–2016. Fusarium species determination was carried out by morphological identification, species-specific amplification and partial translation elongation factor (TEF-1α) gene sequencing. Trichothecene genotype prediction was carried out by primers 3CON/3NA/3D15A/3D3 or Tri13F/Tri13R, Tri303F/Tri303R and Tri315F/Tri315R. A total of 778 purified Fusarium isolates were recovered from 42 sampling sites in 17 counties during the period 2005–2006 and 1002 Fusarium isolates were recovered from 122 sampling sites in 65 counties during the period 2013–2016. F. graminearum was the predominant pathogen recovered during the periods 2005–2006 and 2013–2016. However, the pathogen composition differed slightly between the two periods. In 2005–2006, 752 out of 778 (96.7%) of the isolates belonged to F. graminearum. Two were identified as F. culmorum. Five other Fusarium species were also recovered, F. equiseti, F. verticillioides, F. proliferatum, F. subglutinans and F. chlamydosporum, with lower recoveries of 0.4%, 0.8%, 0.8%, 0.1% and 1.0%, respectively. Trichothecene genotype prediction showed that all the 752 F. graminearum isolates were of the 15-ADON genotype. Five Fusarium species were recovered from samples collected over the period 2013–2016. F. graminearum was again the predominant pathogen with an isolation frequency of 97.6%. F. pseudograminearum, F. asiaticum, F. culmorum and F. negundis were also isolated at a recovery of 1.4%, 0.7%, 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. For the 2013–2016 isolates, 971 of the 978 F. graminearum strains were 15-ADON whereas seven isolates were of the 3-ADON type. All seven F. asiaticum isolates were of the NIV type and fourteen F. pseudograminearum isolates were classified as 3-ADON. F. pseudograminearum was first isolated from FHB in Hebei in 2013. Although the recovery of F. pseudograminearum is still low, it represents a small shift in the pathogen composition and trichothecene genotypes associated with FHB in Hebei province. As Fusarium crown rot of wheat caused by F. pseudograminearum is an increasing problem in Hebei province, it is appropriate to monitor the role of F. pseudograminearum in FHB in the future. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Fluorescence Spectroscopic Investigation of Competitive Interactions between Quercetin and Aflatoxin B1 for Binding to Human Serum Albumin
Toxins 2019, 11(4), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040214 - 09 Apr 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a highly toxic mycotoxin found worldwide in cereals, food, and animal feeds. AFB1 binds to human serum albumin (HSA) with high affinity. In previous experiments, it has been revealed that reducing the binding rate of [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a highly toxic mycotoxin found worldwide in cereals, food, and animal feeds. AFB1 binds to human serum albumin (HSA) with high affinity. In previous experiments, it has been revealed that reducing the binding rate of AFB1 with HSA could speed up the elimination rate of AFB1. Therefore, we examined the ability of quercetin to compete with AFB1 for binding HSA by fluorescence spectroscopy, synchronous spectroscopy, ultrafiltration studies, etc. It was shown that AFB1 and quercetin bind to HSA in the same Sudlow site I (subdomain IIA), and the binding constant (Ka) of the quercetin-HSA complex is significantly stronger than the complex of AFB1-HSA. Our data in this experiment showed that quercetin is able to remove the AFB1 from HSA and reduce its bound fraction. This exploratory work may be of significance for studies in the future regarding decreasing its bound fraction and then increasing its elimination rate for detoxification. This exploratory study may initiate future epidemiological research designs to obtain further in vivo evidence of the long-term (potential protective) effects of competing substances on human patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Sensitive and Reliable UPLC-MS/MS Methods for Food Analysis of Emerging Mycotoxins in China Total Diet Study
Toxins 2019, 11(3), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11030166 - 17 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
With the climatic changes that have taken place during the last decade, the spectrum of fungal pathogens as well as mycotoxins has considerably changed. As a result, some emerging mycotoxins have been shown to occur frequently in agricultural products. In this study, a [...] Read more.
With the climatic changes that have taken place during the last decade, the spectrum of fungal pathogens as well as mycotoxins has considerably changed. As a result, some emerging mycotoxins have been shown to occur frequently in agricultural products. In this study, a sensitive and reliable method for the determination of 10 emerging mycotoxins (beauvericin, enniatin A, enniatin A1, enniatin B, enniatin B1, alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether, altenuene, tentoxin, and tenuazonic acid) in 12 different food matrices (cereals, legumes, potatoes, meats, eggs, aquatic foods, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, sugars, beverages, and alcohol beverages) was developed and validated. After a simple extraction, a one-step sample clean-up by a HLB solid phase extraction (SPE) column was sufficient for all 12 food matrices prior to analysis with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Isotope internal standards 13C-TeA, TEN-d3, and 13C-AFB2 were used for accurate quantification. Validation in terms of linearity, selectivity, sensitivity, accuracy, and precision (intra and inter-day variability) were evaluated for the 10 mycotoxins in all selected matrices. The sensitivity varied from 0.0004 to 0.3 ng mL−1 (limits of detection) and from 0.002 to 0.9 ng mL−1 (limits of quantitation). The recoveries of 10 mycotoxins in fortified samples were from 60.6% to 164% including very low spiking levels in all 12 food matrices, with relative standard deviations (RSDs) less than 12%. The proposed methodology was applied to the analysis of 60 samples collected from five provinces within the 6th China Total Diet Study with the results discussed in detail. The advantages of sensitivity, accuracy, and robustness made it a powerful tool for emerging mycotoxin monitoring and dietary exposure assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro and in Field Response of Different Fungicides against Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium Species Causing Ear Rot Disease of Maize
Toxins 2019, 11(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11010011 - 01 Jan 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
Aspergillus flavus, the main aflatoxin B1 producing fungal species, Fusarium graminearum, a deoxynivalenol producer, and the fumonisin-producing species F. proliferatum and F. verticillioides are the main toxigenic fungi (TF) that colonize maize. Several strategies are available to control TF and [...] Read more.
Aspergillus flavus, the main aflatoxin B1 producing fungal species, Fusarium graminearum, a deoxynivalenol producer, and the fumonisin-producing species F. proliferatum and F. verticillioides are the main toxigenic fungi (TF) that colonize maize. Several strategies are available to control TF and related mycotoxins, such as chemical control. However, there is poor knowledge on the efficacy of fungicides on maize plants since few molecules are registered. The sensitivity of F. graminearum, F. proliferatum, F. verticillioides, and A. flavus to eleven fungicides, selected based on their different modes of action, was evaluated in both in vitro assays and, after selection, in the field. In vitro, demethylation inhibitors (DMI) showed excellent performances, followed by thiophanate-methyl and folpet. Among the succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHI), isopyrazam showed a higher effectiveness against Fusarium species than boscalid, which was ineffective against Fusarium, like the phenyl-pyrrole fludioxonil. Furthermore, both SDHIs and fludioxonil were more active against A. flavus than Fusarium species. In field trials, prothioconazole and thiophanate-methyl were confirmed to be effective to reduce F. graminearum (52% and 48%) and F. proliferatum contamination (44% and 27%). On the other hand, prothioconazole and boscalid could reduce A. flavus contamination at values of 75% and 56%, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Fungal Community in Ziziphi Spinosae Semen through High-Throughput Sequencing
Toxins 2018, 10(12), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120494 - 25 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Ziziphi Spinosae Semen (ZSS) has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine system for decades. Under proper humidity and temperature, ZSS is easily contaminated by fungi and mycotoxins during harvest, storage, and transport, thereby posing a considerable threat to consumer health. In this [...] Read more.
Ziziphi Spinosae Semen (ZSS) has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine system for decades. Under proper humidity and temperature, ZSS is easily contaminated by fungi and mycotoxins during harvest, storage, and transport, thereby posing a considerable threat to consumer health. In this study, we first used the Illumina MiSeq PE250 platform and targeted the internal transcribed spacer 2 sequences to investigate the presence of fungi in moldy and normal ZSS samples collected from five producing areas in China. Results showed that all 14 samples tested were contaminated by fungi. Ascomycota was the dominant fungus at the phylum level, accounting for 64.36–99.74% of the fungal reads. At the genus level, Aspergillus, Candida, and Wallemia were the most predominant genera, with the relative abundances of 13.52–87.87%, 0.42–64.56%, and 0.06–34.31%, respectively. Meanwhile, 70 fungal taxa were identified at the species level. Among these taxa, three potential mycotoxin-producing fungi, namely, Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus, and Penicillium citrinum that account for 0.30–36.29%, 0.04–7.37%, and 0.01–0.80% of the fungal reads, respectively, were detected in all ZSS samples. Moreover, significant differences in fungal communities were observed in the moldy and normal ZSS samples. In conclusion, our results indicated that amplicon sequencing is feasible for the detection and analysis of the fungal community in the ZSS samples. This study used a new approach to survey the fungal contamination in herbal materials. This new approach can provide early warning for mycotoxin contamination in herbal materials, thereby ensuring drug efficacy and safety. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Phylogeny and Mycotoxin Characterization of Alternaria Species Isolated from Wheat Grown in Tuscany, Italy
Toxins 2018, 10(11), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110472 - 14 Nov 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Wheat, the main source of carbohydrates worldwide, can be attacked by a wide number of phytopathogenic fungi, included Alternaria species. Alternaria species commonly occur on wheat worldwide and produce several mycotoxins such as tenuazonic acid (TA), alternariol (AOH), alternariol-monomethyl ether (AME), and altenuene [...] Read more.
Wheat, the main source of carbohydrates worldwide, can be attacked by a wide number of phytopathogenic fungi, included Alternaria species. Alternaria species commonly occur on wheat worldwide and produce several mycotoxins such as tenuazonic acid (TA), alternariol (AOH), alternariol-monomethyl ether (AME), and altenuene (ALT), provided of haemato-toxic, genotoxic, and mutagenic activities. The contamination by Alternaria species of wheat kernels, collected in Tuscany, Italy, from 2013 to 2016, was evaluated. Alternaria contamination was detected in 93 out of 100 field samples, with values ranging between 1 and 73% (mean of 18%). Selected strains were genetically characterized by multi-locus gene sequencing approach through combined sequences of allergen alt1a, glyceraldeyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and translation elongation factor 1α genes. Two well defined groups were generated; namely sections Alternaria and Infectoriae. Representative strains were analyzed for mycotoxin production. A different mycotoxin profile between the sections was shown. Of the 54 strains analyzed for mycotoxins, all strains included in Section Alternaria produced AOH and AME, 40 strains (99%) produced TA, and 26 strains (63%) produced ALT. On the other hand, only a very low capability to produce both AOH and AME was recorded among the Section Infectoriae strains. These data show that a potential mycotoxin risk related to the consumption of Alternaria contaminated wheat is high. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cinnamaldehyde on Morphological Alterations of Aspergillus ochraceus and Expression of Key Genes Involved in Ochratoxin A Biosynthesis
Toxins 2018, 10(9), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10090340 - 22 Aug 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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