Understanding the regulation of mycotoxin biosynthesis of mycotoxin producing fungi on plant derived products with the aim to develop prevention strategies
Project code: MRI-OG-08-054
Contract period: 01.01.2001 - 31.12.2017
Purpose of research: Applied research
It is a well known fact that the production of mycotoxins is strongly dependent on the external conditions. The most important parameters which have an influence on the biosynthesis of mycotoxins are substrate composition (plant derived foods), the temperature, the water activity and the pH-value. The regulation of the mycotoxin biosynthesis is on the transcriptional level. Mycotoxin biosynthesis genes are expressed under supporting conditions, which in turn leads to the phenotypic biosynthesis of mycotoxins. A profound knowledge about these regulation mechanism at the transcriptional level delivers hints for the develpoment of counteractive measures.
For aflatoxinproducing Aspergilli, as well as for ochratoxin A producing Penicillia Real Time PCR systems and a microarray system have been developed to study gene expression. As target genes for these systems the mycotoxinbiosynthesis genes were choosen. With the aid of these methods the influence of different growth conditions, like changes in water activity and temperature, on the transcription of these genes was determined. Furthermore a growth kinetics in the natural habitate was established by the use of the developed Real Time PCR systems. The determined data served to built models, which describe the correlation between external parameter, expression and mycotoxin biosynthesis. In these analyses different principles in the transcriptional reaction on changing environmental parameters could be unravelled. These knowledge will be used to develop novel counteracting measures against mycotoxin biosynthesis.