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Genetic Mechanisms Involved in Fumonisin Biosynthesis by Fusarium verticillioides (2001-02959)

Cleveland, Thomas
Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station
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End date
The specific objectives of this proposal are: (1) to determine the role of pH in fumonisin biosynthesis and (2) to characterize five putative regulatory genes and determine their role in fumonisin production.
More information
Fumonisins are toxins produced by the fungus Fusarium verticillioides that contaminate maize and maize-based products worldwide. Fumonisins cause lethal diseases in animals and are linked to cancer in humans. As a result of their carcinogenicity, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set limits for fumonisin infood. Considering the possible health concerns that fumonisins impose on animals andhumans, there is a need to understand the biochemistry and molecular regulation of fumonisin biosynthesis. The investigators have isolated a mutant of the fungus that failsto produce fumonisins when growing on corn kernels. Through the study of this mutant they have determined that pH of the corn kernel is an important component in theregulation of fumonisin biosynthesis.They have also identified several putative regulatory genes that may be involved in fumonisin biosynthesis. Completion of the proposed objectives will further decipher the cues within the environment of the corn kernel that influence production of fumonisins. Such information should provide insight towards developing new approaches for eliminating fumonisin contamination.
Project number
Legislation and Regulations
Natural Toxins
Antimicrobial Resistance