Food Safety Research Information Office
Title:Control of Fumonisin Mycotoxin Contamination in Maize Through Elucidation of Genetic and Environmental Factors ... Metabolism in Fusarium
Objective:

The overall goal of this project is to develop strategies that reduce contamination of maize with mycotoxins produced by Fusarium and thereby improve the safety of maize for human and animal consumption. To achieve this goal, we propose research that addresses the four objectives listed below.

Objective 1: Identify and characterize Fusarium genes and proteins that regulate production of fumonisin mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites;

Objective 2: Identify critical components of fungal-plant-environmental interactions that affect fumonisin contamination in maize;

Objective 3: Identify variation in distribution and arrangement of biosynthetic genes for mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites among Fusarium species;

Objective 4: Develop new ambient ionization mass spectrometry (MS) techniques for the convenient analysis of mycotoxins from a variety of food related matrices.

More Info:
Approach: Fumonisin mycotoxins are common maize contaminants that pose risks to food safety and public health, as well as livestock health. The risks result from the ability of fumonisins to cause diseases, including cancer and neural tube defects. Fumonisin contamination is a direct result of infection of maize (corn) by the fungus Fusarium verticillioides, which is a major cause worldwide of maize ear rot but is also present at a high frequency in healthy maize kernels. Fumonisin levels are, however, generally much higher in rotted kernels than in healthy infected kernels. Understanding the genetic regulation of fumonisin production and the pathogenesis of F. verticillioides in maize is critical for the development of strategies to prevent fumonisin contamination. We propose to use molecular genetics and functional genomics to identify and characterize F. verticillioides genes that regulate fumonisin biosynthesis or affect pathogenesis, because such genes are potential targets for strategies to prevent fumonisin contamination.

We also propose to examine genes responsible for production of two less well understood Fusarium mycotoxins, fusarins and fusaric acid, as part of efforts to clarify the importance of the toxins in food safety. Essential for efforts to improve food safety are methods to reliably detect and quantify contaminants. Thus, we also propose to develop ambient mass spectrometry (MS) for fumonisin analysis directly from maize. This method will be an improvement over exiting methods because it will bypass sample preparations and chromatography that are required for current MS analyses.

Together, the results of our research will elucidate genetic factors that control mycotoxin production in Fusarium, improve methods for mycotoxin analysis, and contribute to strategies that reduce fumonisin contamination of maize. The results have the potential to improve the safety of maize for consumption by humans, and will provide tools to seed and biotechnology companies, regulatory agencies, and other research scientist working to reduce mycotoxin contamination.

Funding Source:United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Type:Appropriated
Start Date:2011
End Date:2016
Project Number:3620-42000-044-00
Accession Number:421047
Institutions:USDA/ARS - Midwest Area
Investigators:Brown, Daren
Busman, Mark
Proctor, Robert
Project Reports:2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
Published Journal
Articles USDA
ARS (NP 108):
Birth, death, and horizontal transfer of the fumonisin biosynthetic gene cluster during the evolutionary diversification of Fusarium
Proctor RH, Van Hove F, Susca A, Stea G, Busman M, van der Lee T, Waalwijk C, Moretti A, Ward TJ.
Mol Microbiol. 2013 Oct;90(2):290-306.
Impact of temperature stress and validamycin A on compatible solutes and fumonisin production in F. verticillioides: role of trehalose-6-phosphate synthase
Boudreau BA, Larson TM, Brown DW, Busman M, Roberts ES, Kendra DF, McQuade KL.
Fungal Genet Biol. 2013 Aug;57:1-10.
Deciphering the cryptic genome: genome-wide analyses of the rice pathogen Fusarium fujikuroi reveal complex regulation of secondary metabolism and novel metabolites
Wiemann P, Sieber CM, von Bargen KW, Studt L, Niehaus EM, Espino JJ, Huß K, Michielse CB, Albermann S, Wagner D, Bergner SV, Connolly LR, Fischer A, Reuter G, Kleigrewe K, Bald T, Wingfield BD, Ophir R, Freeman S, Hippler M, Smith KM, Brown DW, Proctor RH, Münsterkötter M, Freitag M, Humpf HU, Güldener U, Tudzynski B.
PLoS Pathog. 2013 Jun;9(6):e1003475.
FUM and BIK gene expression contribute to describe fumonisin and bikaverin synthesis in Fusarium verticillioides
Lazzaro I, Busman M, Battilani P, Butchko RA.
Int J Food Microbiol. 2012 Nov 15;160(2):94-8.
Identification of early fumonisin biosynthetic intermediates by inactivation of the FUM6 gene in Fusarium verticillioides
Uhlig S, Busman M, Shane DS, Rønning H, Rise F, Proctor R.
J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Oct 17;60(41):10293-301.
Identification of gene clusters associated with fusaric acid, fusarin, and perithecial pigment production in Fusarium verticillioides
Brown DW, Butchko RA, Busman M, Proctor RH.
Fungal Genet Biol. 2012 Jul;49(7):521-32.
Proteomic comparison of Gibberella moniliformis in limited-nitrogen (fumonisin-inducing) and excess-nitrogen (fumonisin-repressing) conditions
Choi YE, Butchko RA, Shim WB.
J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 Jun;22(6):780-7.
Phylogenomic and functional domain analysis of polyketide synthases in Fusarium
Brown DW, Butchko RA, Baker SE, Proctor RH.
Fungal Biol. 2012 Feb;116(2):318-31.
Non-journal publications:
Characterization of the fumonisin B2 biosynthetic gene cluster in Aspergillus niger and A. awamori.(Abstract Only)
Accepted Publication (30-May-13)
Glucosylation of toxins - (Abstract Only)
Accepted Publication (16-May-13)
Structural variation of trichothecene mycotoxins has resulted from multiple evolutionary processes in the fungal order Hypocreales - (Abstract Only)
Accepted Publication (17-Mar-13)
Comparative analysis of 35 basidiomycete genomes reveals diversity and uniqueness of the phylum - (Abstract Only)
Accepted Publication (17-Mar-13)
Diversity of polyketide synthases in Fusarium - (Book / Chapter)
Brown, D. W., Proctor, R.H. 2013. Diversity of polyketide synthases in Fusarium. In: Brown, D.W., Proctor R.H., editors. Fusarium: genomics, molecular and cellular biology. Norwich, United Kingdom: Horizon Scientific Press. p. 143-164.
Insights into the evolution of toxin biosynthesis in the fungus Fusarium - (Abstract Only)
Proctor, R., Van Hove, F., Susca, A., Stea, G., Busman, M., Van Der Lee, T., Waalwijk, C., Moretti, A., Ward, T.J. 2012. Insights into the evolution of toxin biosynthesis in the fungus Fusarium. Meeting Abstract.
Acid and neutral trehalase activities in mutants of the corn rot fungus Fusarium verticillioides - (Abstract Only)
Accepted Publication (26-Oct-12)
Biodiversity of important toxigenic fungi that threaten food safety - (Abstract Only)
Moretti, A., Mule, G., Proctor, R., Susca, A., Logrieco, A.F. 2012. Biodiversity of important toxigenic fungi that threaten food safety. Meeting Abstract.
Evidence for birth-and-death evolution of a secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene cluster and its relocation within and between genomes of the filamentous fungus Fusarium - (Abstract Only)
Proctor, R., Van Hove, F., Susca, A., Stea, G., Busman, M., Van Der Lee, T., Waalwijk, C., Ward, T.J., Moretti, A. 2012. Evidence for birth-and-death evolution of a secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene cluster and its relocation within and between genomes of the filamentous fungus Fusarium. Meeting Abstract.
Trehalose-related Gene Deletions in Fusarium verticillioides - (Abstract Only)
Boudreau, B.A., Larson, T.M., Brown, D.W., Busman, M., Roberts, E.S., Nall, D., Mcquade, L. 2012. Trehalose-related Gene Deletions in Fusarium verticillioides. American Society for Microbiology.
Determination of the secondary metabolites fusarubin and 8-O-methylbostrycoidin from maize by LC-MS/MS - (Abstract Only)
Busman, M. 2012. Determination of the secondary metabolites fusarubin and 8-O-methylbostrycoidin from maize by LC-MS/MS. American Society for Mass Spectrometry.
Retention of genes in a secondary metabolite gene cluster that has degenerated in multiple lineages of the Ascomycota - (Abstract Only)
Accepted Publication (17-Mar-12)
Evidence for birth-and-death evolution and horizontal transfer of the fumonisin mycotoxin biosynthetic gene cluster in Fusarium - (Abstract Only)
Proctor, R., Van Hove, F., Susca, A., Stea, G., Busman, M., Van Der Lee, T., Waalwijk, C., Moretti, A., Ward, T.J. 2013. Evidence for birth-and-death evolution and horizontal transfer of the fumonisin mycotoxin biosynthetic gene cluster in Fusarium. Fungal Genetics Conference/Asilomar.
Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Biomarkers in Fusarium verticillioides - (Abstract Only)
Roberts, E., Boudreau, B., Larson, T.M., Brown, D.W., Mcquade, K., Remsen, E.E. 2012. Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Biomarkers in Fusarium verticillioides. Proceedings of Pittcon Meeting.
Genetic diversity and trichothecene chemotypes of the Fusarium graminearum clade isolated from maize in Nepal and identification of a putative new lineage - (Abstract Only)
Proctor, R., Desjardins, A. 2011. Genetic diversity and trichothecene chemotypes of the Fusarium graminearum clade isolated from maize in Nepal and identification of a putative new lineage. Conference on Organic Agriculture.
Influence of water activity on fumonisin and bikaverin gene expression and toxin production in fusarium verticillioides - (Abstract Only)
Lazzaro, I., Busman, M., Battilani, P., Butchko, R.A. 2012. Influence of water activity on fumonisin and bikaverin gene expression and toxin production in fusarium verticillioides. Italian Society for Plant Pathology.
Variability in mycotoxin biosynthetic genes in Fusarium and its effect on mycotoxin contamination of crops - (Abstract Only)
Proctor, R., Mccormick, S.P., Alexander, N.J., Busman, M., Ward, T.J. 2011. Variability in mycotoxin biosynthetic genes in Fusarium and its effect on mycotoxin contamination of crops. Meeting Abstract.
Field tests of the role of fumonisins in the Zea mays–Gibberella moniliformis interaction - (Abstract Only)
Busman, M. 2011. Field tests of the role of fumonisins in the Zea mays–Gibberella moniliformis interaction. Meeting Abstract.
Food Safety Categories:On-Farm Food Safety
Contaminants and Contamination
Methodology
Pathogen Biology
Plant Science & Plant Products
Farm-to-Table categories:On-farm food production
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