Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2012
Publication Date: 9/7/2012
Citation: Moretti, A., Mule, G., Proctor, R., Susca, A., Logrieco, A.F. 2012. Biodiversity of important toxigenic fungi that threaten food safety. Meeting Abstract. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Phenotypic and metabolic plasticity of toxigenic fungi that threaten food safety allows these microorganisms to colonize a broad range of agriculturally important crops and to adapt to a range of environmental conditions. In addition, trans-global transportation and trade of plant products significantly contribute to the spread of toxigenic fungi worldwide. The increase in studies on molecular biodiversity of toxigenic fungi at a global level, particularly studies addressing rapid detection systems, has also revealed the existence of intra- and inter-specific differences in mycotoxin biosynthetic pathways. For some of the most worrisome species of Aspergillus and Fusarium (sexual stage Gibberella), differences in mycotoxin biosynthetic pathways could be related to specific evolutionary adaptation of species and/or populations. Examples of these differences have been reported for: a) the fumonisin biosynthetic pathway in the black Aspergillus and G. fujikuroi species complexes; b) the trichothecene pathway in Fusarium; and c) the presence and absence of the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway in two populations of A. flavus. A review of available information on the variability of the most relevant toxigenic species of Aspergillus and Fusarium with respect to mycotoxin profile, molecular diversity, phylogeny, and biosynthetic pathway will be provided in the presentation. We will emphasize the importance of increasing the knowledge of molecular biodiversity of toxigenic fungi to better understand host-pathogen and environment-fungus interactions and to prevent mycotoxin production at critical points of crop production from pre-harvest to storage.