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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318525

Title: Augmenting the efficacy of fungal and mycotoxin control via chemosensitization

item Kim, Jong Heon
item Chan, Kathleen - Kathy
item MCCONNELL, LAURA - Bayer Crop Sciences, Germany

Submitted to: Outlooks on Pest Management
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/2015
Publication Date: 8/1/2015
Citation: Kim, J.H., Chan, K.L., Mcconnell, L.L. 2015. Augmenting the efficacy of fungal and mycotoxin control via chemosensitization. Outlooks on Pest Management. 26:172-176.

Interpretive Summary: Infection of crops by fungal pathogens, especially those that produce mycotoxins, is problematic because effective fungicides for eliminating mycotoxigenic fungi are sometimes very limited. Recent data showed that mycotoxin contamination damages around 25 % of global food and feed crop production. Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxins, can cause serious human or animal health risks as they act as liver-damaging carcinogens. In the European Union, stringent mycotoxin regulations are currently applied to the imported crops, including almonds, pistachios, walnuts, among others. The expansion of fungal resistance to conventional fungicides triggers global agricultural and food safety issues. For example, agricultural fields receiving continuous applications of the widely used fungicides, such as strobilurins, resulted in the development of insensitivity of fungi to the fungicides. In particular, if strobilurins are applied at suboptimal time-points of fungal growth, the fungicides actually potentiate mycotoxin production by fungi. Fungicide-potentiation of mycotoxin production in the resistant strains has been documented further in a number of aflatoxin-, trichothecene-, citrinin-, and patulin-producing fungal pathogens. Therefore, there is a persistent need to enhance the effectiveness of conventional antimycotic agents or discover/develop new intervention strategies, which can ensure safe food and feed crop production.

Technical Abstract: Antimycotic chemosensitization could serve as an effective method for control of fungal pathogens. In a chemo-biological platform to enhance antimycotic susceptibility of fungi or to overcome fungal tolerance to conventional antimycotic agents, the model yeast S. cerevisiae could be a functional tool for identifying cellular targets of natural/synthetic chemical compounds. This also enabled the discovery of new utility of known compounds or the utilization of the newly developed compounds as chemosensitizing agents to enhance the efficacy of conventional antimycotic agents. Thus, chemo-biological approaches can lead to the development of novel antifungal intervention strategies, which enhance the efficacy of established microbe intervention practices and overcome antimycotic drug resistance. Overall, chemosensitization strategy can reduce costs, abate fungicide resistance, and alleviate environmental side effects associated with current antimycotic intervention strategies.