Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2006
Publication Date: 11/30/2006
Citation: Cotty, P.J. 2006. Biocompetitive Exclusion of Toxigenic Fungi. In: Barug, D., Bhatnagar, D., van Egmond, H.P., van der Kamp, J.W., van Osenbruggen, W.A., Visconti, A., editors. The Mycotoxin Factbook. The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers. p. 179-197.
Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxins are toxic fungal metabolites that can inhibit human development, cause cancer and even induce death. Preventing the occurrence of these toxins in foods is very difficult. A biological control that uses strains of Aspergillus flavus to prevent aflatoxin contamination has been developed by ARS. This biocontrol has the potential to economically limit aflatoxin contamination in an environmentally friendly manner.
Technical Abstract: Aflatoxins are highly toxic cancer causing fungal metabolites known to cause immune-system suppression, growth retardation, cancer and death in both humans and domestic animals. Aflatoxin contamination of crops is caused by members of Aspergillus section flavi, and A. flavus is the most common cause of contamination on most crops worldwide. For over three decades, research directed at developing methods to improve management of aflatoxin contamination has increased our knowledge of the biology, genetics, ecology, physiology and evolution of aflatoxin producing fungi. One result of this knowledge has been the development of strategies utilizing strains of A. flavus that do not produce aflatoxins to reduce contamination of crops through competitive exclusion of aflatoxin producers.