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Augmenting the Efficacy of Fungal and Mycotoxin Control via Chemosensitization

| September 11, 2015

Mycotoxins, fungicides and crop production

Infection of crops by fungal pathogens, especially those that produce mycotoxins, e.g., aflatoxins, fumonisins, zearalenone, patulin, ochratoxins, etc., is problematic because effective fungicides for eliminating mycotoxigenic fungi, especially fungicide-resistant pathogens, are sometimes very limited. Recent data showed that mycotoxin contamination damages around 25% of global food and feed crop production (Moretti et al. 2013 and references therein). 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 imported crops, including almonds/pistachios (aflatoxin thresholds 8 to 10 ppm), walnuts (aflatoxin thresholds 2 to 4 ppm), among others (USDA-FAS, 2010). In recent years, the expansion of fungal resistance to conventional fungicides has triggered global agricultural and food safety issues. For example, agricultural fields receiving continuous applications of the most widely used fungicides, such as strobilurins, resulted in the development of insensitivity of some of these 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 (Ellner, 2005; www.cropscience.bayer.ca/en/Stories/2013/FungicideApplication-Timing-is-Everything.aspx, Accessed on 18 May, 2015). Fungicide-potentiation of mycotoxin production in resistant strains has been documented further in a number of aflatoxin-, trichothecene-, citrinin-, and patulin-producing fungal pathogens (Table 1). Therefore, there is a continuous need to enhance the effectiveness of conventional antimycotic agents or discover/develop new intervention strategies, which can ensure safe food and support crop production.

table 1

 This is an extract of the full article published in: Outlooks on Pest Management – August 2015 issue.

The full text of this article is available to subscribers of Outlooks on Pest Management.
Non-subcribers may buy & download full text article.

Authors: Jong H. Kim, Kathleen L. Chan & Laura L. McConnell – describe a new approach to disease control and mycotoxin production

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Category: Animal Health, Public health

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