Submitted to: Mycotoxin Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2006
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Proctor, R.H., Desjardins, A.E., Brown, D.W., McCormick, S.P., Butchko, R.A.E., Alexander, N., Busman, M. 2006. Biosynthesis of Fusarium mycotoxins and genomics of Fusarium verticillioides. Mycotoxin Research. 22(2):75-78. Interpretive Summary: Trichothecenes and fumonisins are toxins that are harmful to human and animal health and are produced by various species of the fungus Fusarium. An analysis of trichothecene and fumonisin production in 23 Fusarium species indicated that variations in production are not always correlated with how closely or distantly species are related; closely related species can sometimes differ in production while more distantly related species can have the same production. This research has provided insight into the evolution of toxin production in fungi and will be of general interest to toxicologists, plant pathologists, and plant breeders working to reduce toxin levels in crop plants used for human food and animal feed.
Technical Abstract: Analyses of mycotoxin biosynthetic genes in Fusarium indicate that interspecies variation in trichothecene structures can result from differences in gene function, and interspecies variation in fumonisin production/non production can result from differences in the presence/absence of genes. Such variation is not always correlated with phylogenetic relationships of species determined from sequences of primary metabolic genes; distantly related species can share the same mycotoxin biosynthetic genotype and resulting phenotype, while more closely related species can differ. These findings provide further evidence that the evolution of mycotoxin biosynthesis in Fusarium has not always been congruent with the evolution of species.