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Toxins, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The mode of action of cyclo(L-Ala-L-Pro), a selective aflatoxin production inhibitor, in inhibiting [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle The Putative Histone Methyltransferase DOT1 Regulates Aflatoxin and Pathogenicity Attributes in Aspergillus flavus
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
Lysine methyltransferases transfer methyl groups in specific lysine sites, which regulates a variety of important biological processes in eukaryotes. In this study, we characterized a novel homolog of the yeast methyltransferase DOT1 in A. flavus, and observed the roles of dot1
[...] Read more.
Lysine methyltransferases transfer methyl groups in specific lysine sites, which regulates a variety of important biological processes in eukaryotes. In this study, we characterized a novel homolog of the yeast methyltransferase DOT1 in A. flavus, and observed the roles of dot1 in A. flavus. Deletion of dot1 showed a significant decrease in conidiation, but an increase in sclerotia formation. A change in viability to multiple stresses was also found in the Δdot1 mutant. Additionally, aflatoxin (AF) production was found severely impaired in the Δdot1 mutant. Further analysis by qRT-PCR revealed that the transcription of AF structural genes and their regulator gene aflS were prominently suppressed in the Δdot1 mutant. Furthermore, our data revealed that Dot1 is important for colonizing maize seeds in A. flavus. Our research indicates that Dot1 is involved in fungal development, aflatoxin biosynthesis and fungal virulence in A. flavus, which might provide a potential target for controlling A. flavus with new strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aflatoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Microcystin Prevalence throughout Lentic Waterbodies in Coastal Southern California
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Toxin producing cyanobacterial blooms have increased globally in recent decades in both frequency and intensity. Despite the recognition of this growing risk, the extent and magnitude of cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxin prevalence is poorly characterized in the heavily populated region of southern California.
[...] Read more.
Toxin producing cyanobacterial blooms have increased globally in recent decades in both frequency and intensity. Despite the recognition of this growing risk, the extent and magnitude of cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxin prevalence is poorly characterized in the heavily populated region of southern California. Recent assessments of lentic waterbodies (depressional wetlands, lakes, reservoirs and coastal lagoons) determined the prevalence of microcystins and, in some cases, additional cyanotoxins. Microcystins were present in all waterbody types surveyed although toxin concentrations were generally low across most habitats, as only a small number of sites exceeded California’s recreational health thresholds for acute toxicity. Results from passive samplers (Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking (SPATT)) indicated microcystins were prevalent throughout lentic waterbodies and that traditional discrete samples underestimated the presence of microcystins. Multiple cyanotoxins were detected simultaneously in some systems, indicating multiple stressors, the risk of which is uncertain since health thresholds are based on exposures to single toxins. Anatoxin-a was detected for the first time from lakes in southern California. The persistence of detectable microcystins across years and seasons indicates a low-level, chronic risk through both direct and indirect exposure. The influence of toxic cyanobacterial blooms is a more complex stressor than presently recognized and should be included in water quality monitoring programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Freshwater HABs and Health in a Changing World)
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Open AccessArticle SiMa Cells for a Serotype Specific and Sensitive Cell-Based Neutralization Test for Botulinum Toxin A and E
Received: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Botulinum toxins (BoNTs), of which there are seven serotypes, are among the most potent neurotoxins, with serotypes A, B and E causing human botulism. Antitoxins form the first line of treatment for botulism, and functional, highly sensitive in vitro methods for toxin neutralization
[...] Read more.
Botulinum toxins (BoNTs), of which there are seven serotypes, are among the most potent neurotoxins, with serotypes A, B and E causing human botulism. Antitoxins form the first line of treatment for botulism, and functional, highly sensitive in vitro methods for toxin neutralization are needed to replace the current in vivo methods used for determination of antitoxin potency. In this preliminary proof of concept study, we report the development of a neutralization test using the neuroblastoma SiMa cell line. The assay is serotype specific for either BoNT/A or BoNT/E, which both cleave unique sequences on SNAP-25 within SiMa cells. The end point is simple immunodetection of cleaved SNAP-25 from cell lysates with antibodies detecting only the newly exposed sequence on SNAP-25. Neutralizing antibodies prevent the toxin-induced cleavage of SNAP-25. The toxin neutralization assay, with an EC50 of ~2 mIU/mL determined with a standardized reference antiserum, is more sensitive than the mouse bioassays. Relevance was demonstrated with commercial and experimental antitoxins targeting different functional domains, and of known in vivo neutralizing activities. This is the first report describing a simple, specific, in vitro cell-based assay for the detection of neutralizing antibodies against BoNT/A and BoNT/E with a sensitivity exceeding that of the mouse bioassay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Botulinum Neurotoxins Antibody and Vaccine)
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Open AccessArticle The Uremic Toxin Indoxyl Sulfate Accelerates Thrombotic Response after Vascular Injury in Animal Models
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 16 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are at high risk for thrombotic events. Indoxyl sulfate (IS) is one of the most potent uremic toxins that accumulates during CKD. Even though IS is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, its impact on thrombotic
[...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are at high risk for thrombotic events. Indoxyl sulfate (IS) is one of the most potent uremic toxins that accumulates during CKD. Even though IS is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, its impact on thrombotic events still remains not fully understood. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the direct effect of IS on thrombotic process. We examined the impact of acute exposure to IS on thrombus development induced by electric current in Wistar rats, intravital thrombus formation after laser-induced injury in the mice endothelium, coagulation profile, clot formation dynamics, platelet aggregations, and erythrocyte osmotic resistance. IS doses: 10, 30 and 100 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) increased weight of thrombus induced by electric current in dose-dependent manner (p < 0.001). Furthermore, two highest IS doses increased laser-induced thrombus formation observed via confocal system (increase in fluorescence intensity and total thrombus area (p < 0.01)). Only the highest IS dose decreased clotting time (p < 0.01) and increased maximum clot firmness (p < 0.05). IS did not affect blood morphology parameters and erythrocyte osmotic resistance, but augmented collagen-induced aggregation. Obtained data indicate that IS creates prothrombotic state and contributes to more stable thrombus formation. Thus, we concluded that IS may be one of crucial uremic factors promoting thrombotic events in CKD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Issues in Uremic Toxicity)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview Emerging Fusarium and Alternaria Mycotoxins: Occurrence, Toxicity and Toxicokinetics
Received: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Emerging Fusarium and Alternaria mycotoxins gain more and more interest due to their frequent contamination of food and feed, although in vivo toxicity and toxicokinetic data are limited. Whereas the Fusarium mycotoxins beauvericin, moniliformin and enniatins particularly contaminate grain and grain-based products, Alternaria
[...] Read more.
Emerging Fusarium and Alternaria mycotoxins gain more and more interest due to their frequent contamination of food and feed, although in vivo toxicity and toxicokinetic data are limited. Whereas the Fusarium mycotoxins beauvericin, moniliformin and enniatins particularly contaminate grain and grain-based products, Alternaria mycotoxins are also detected in fruits, vegetables and wines. Although contamination levels are usually low (µg/kg range), higher contamination levels of enniatins and tenuazonic acid may occasionally occur. In vitro studies suggest genotoxic effects of enniatins A, A1 and B1, beauvericin, moniliformin, alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether, altertoxins and stemphyltoxin-III. Furthermore, in vitro studies suggest immunomodulating effects of most emerging toxins and a reproductive health hazard of alternariol, beauvericin and enniatin B. More in vivo toxicity data on the individual and combined effects of these contaminants on reproductive and immune system in both humans and animals is needed to update the risk evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority. Taking into account new occurrence data for tenuazonic acid, the complete oral bioavailability, the low total body clearance in pigs and broiler chickens and the limited toxicity data, a health risk cannot be completely excluded. Besides, some less known Alternaria toxins, especially the genotoxic altertoxins and stemphyltoxin III, should be incorporated in risk evaluation as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Leading Opinions (Closed))
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Open AccessArticle A Bacterial Toxin with Analgesic Properties: Hyperpolarization of DRG Neurons by Mycolactone
Received: 21 May 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Mycolactone, a polyketide molecule produced by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is the etiological agent of Buruli ulcer. This lipid toxin is endowed with pleiotropic effects, presents cytotoxic effects at high doses, and notably plays a pivotal role in host response upon colonization by the
[...] Read more.
Mycolactone, a polyketide molecule produced by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is the etiological agent of Buruli ulcer. This lipid toxin is endowed with pleiotropic effects, presents cytotoxic effects at high doses, and notably plays a pivotal role in host response upon colonization by the bacillus. Most remarkably, mycolactone displays intriguing analgesic capabilities: the toxin suppresses or alleviates the pain of the skin lesions it inflicts. We demonstrated that the analgesic capability of mycolactone was not attributable to nerve damage, but instead resulted from the triggering of a cellular pathway targeting AT2 receptors (angiotensin II type 2 receptors; AT2R), and leading to potassium-dependent hyperpolarization. This demonstration paves the way to new nature-inspired analgesic protocols. In this direction, we assess here the hyperpolarizing properties of mycolactone on nociceptive neurons. We developed a dedicated medium-throughput assay based on membrane potential changes, and visualized by confocal microscopy of bis-oxonol-loaded Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) neurons. We demonstrate that mycolactone at non-cytotoxic doses triggers the hyperpolarization of DRG neurons through AT2R, with this action being not affected by known ligands of AT2R. This result points towards novel AT2R-dependent signaling pathways in DRG neurons underlying the analgesic effect of mycolactone, with the perspective for the development of new types of nature-inspired analgesics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Ouabain Protects Human Renal Cells against the Cytotoxic Effects of Shiga Toxin Type 2 and Subtilase Cytotoxin
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is one of the most common causes of acute renal failure in children. The majority of cases are associated with Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In Argentina, HUS is endemic and presents the highest incidence rate in the
[...] Read more.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is one of the most common causes of acute renal failure in children. The majority of cases are associated with Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In Argentina, HUS is endemic and presents the highest incidence rate in the world. STEC strains expressing Stx type 2 (Stx2) are responsible for the most severe cases of this pathology. Subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB) is another STEC virulence factor that may contribute to HUS pathogenesis. To date, neither a licensed vaccine nor effective therapy for HUS is available for humans. Considering that Ouabain (OUA) may prevent the apoptosis process, in this study we evaluated if OUA is able to avoid the damage caused by Stx2 and SubAB on human glomerular endothelial cells (HGEC) and the human proximal tubule epithelial cell (HK-2) line. HGEC and HK-2 were pretreated with OUA and then incubated with the toxins. OUA protected the HGEC viability from Stx2 and SubAB cytotoxic effects, and also prevented the HK-2 viability from Stx2 effects. The protective action of OUA on HGEC and HK-2 was associated with a decrease in apoptosis and an increase in cell proliferation. Our data provide evidence that OUA could be considered as a therapeutic strategy to avoid the renal damage that precedes HUS. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Shiga Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of Enterotoxigenic Bacillus cereus sensu lato and Staphylococcus aureus Isolates and Associated Enterotoxin Production Dynamics in Milk or Meat-Based Broth
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
Bacillus cereus sensu lato species, as well as Staphylococcus aureus, are important pathogenic bacteria which can cause foodborne illness through the production of enterotoxins. This study characterised enterotoxin genes of these species and examined growth and enterotoxin production dynamics of isolates when
[...] Read more.
Bacillus cereus sensu lato species, as well as Staphylococcus aureus, are important pathogenic bacteria which can cause foodborne illness through the production of enterotoxins. This study characterised enterotoxin genes of these species and examined growth and enterotoxin production dynamics of isolates when grown in milk or meat-based broth. All B. cereus s. l. isolates harboured nheA, hblA and entFM toxin genes, with lower prevalence of bceT and hlyII. When grown at 16 °C, toxin production by individual B. cereus s. l. isolates varied depending on the food matrix; toxin was detected at cell densities below 5 log10(CFU/mL). At 16 °C no staphylococcal enterotoxin C (SEC) production was detected by S. aureus isolates, although low levels of SED production was noted. At 30 °C all S. aureus isolates produced detectable enterotoxin in the simulated meat matrix, whereas SEC production was significantly reduced in milk. Relative to B. cereus s. l. toxin production, S. aureus typically required reaching higher cell numbers to produce detectable levels of enterotoxin. Phylogenetic analysis of the sec and sel genes suggested population evolution which correlated with animal host adaptation, with subgroups of bovine isolates or caprine/ovine isolates noted, which were distinct from human isolates. Taken together, this study highlights the marked differences in the production of enterotoxins both associated with different growth matrices themselves, but also in the behaviour of individual strains when exposed to different food matrices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Differences in Genetic Background Contribute to Pseudomonas Exotoxin A-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats
Received: 17 May 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A (PEA) causes severe hepatotoxicity in experimental animals and is useful in investigations of immune-mediated liver injury. However, strain differences in the sensitivity to PEA-induced hepatotoxicity in rats remains be elucidated. In this study, we determined the severity of PEA-induced
[...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A (PEA) causes severe hepatotoxicity in experimental animals and is useful in investigations of immune-mediated liver injury. However, strain differences in the sensitivity to PEA-induced hepatotoxicity in rats remains be elucidated. In this study, we determined the severity of PEA-induced hepatotoxicity in six genetically different rat strains. Male LE (Long Evans), Wistar, F344, WKY, BN/SsN and LEW rats were administered a single intravenous injection of PEA (20 μg/kg). Significantly elevated serum ALT and AST levels, massive necrosis and hemorrhage, and numerous TUNEL-positive hepatocytes were observed in BN/SsN rats. In contrast, low levels of ALT and AST as well as mild changes in liver histopathology were observed in Wistar and F344 rats. Moderate levels of hepatic injuries were observed in LE, WKY, and LEW rats. Pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α, IL-2 and IL-6 serum levels were markedly increased in BN/SsN rats compared to Wistar and F344 rats. However, the hepatic levels of low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP), which functions as the PEA receptor, were not significantly different in each strain. Taken together, we suggest that BN/SsN is the most sensitive rat strain, whereas Wistar and F344 were the most resistant rat strains to PEA-induced liver damage. The different genetic background of rat strains plays an important role in the susceptibility to PEA-induced epatotoxicity that may depend on immune-regulation but not LRP receptor levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle The Occurrence of Zearalenone in South Korean Feedstuffs between 2009 and 2016
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mycotoxins produced by Fusarium plant pathogen species have harmful effects on humans and livestock by natural contamination in food and feed. Zearalenone, one of the well-known Fusarium mycotoxins, causes hyperestrogenism and toxicosis resulting in reproductive dysfunction in animals. This study investigated the occurrence
[...] Read more.
Mycotoxins produced by Fusarium plant pathogen species have harmful effects on humans and livestock by natural contamination in food and feed. Zearalenone, one of the well-known Fusarium mycotoxins, causes hyperestrogenism and toxicosis resulting in reproductive dysfunction in animals. This study investigated the occurrence of zearalenone in feedstuffs (compound feeds, feed ingredients) between 2009 and 2016 in South Korea to obtain information on zearalenone contamination in feeds for management. A total of 653 animal feed samples (494 compound feeds, 159 feed ingredients) produced domestically were sampled five times from 2009 to 2016 (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016) from feed factories in South Korea. The levels of zearalenone were analyzed every year by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) after pretreatment with an immunoaffinity column showing limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) of 0.1–3 μg/kg and 0.3–8 μg/kg, respectively. Four feed samples out of 494 compound feeds exceeded the EU and South Korea commission regulations over the eight-year test period, and no feed ingredients exceeded the guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Open AccessArticle Ability of Soil Isolated Actinobacterial Strains to Prevent, Bind and Biodegrade Ochratoxin A
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most important mycotoxins, and contaminates several agricultural products, particularly cereals, grapes, maize, barley, spices and coffee. The aim of this project was to reduce the levels of OTA by supplementing the artificially contaminated solutions with seven
[...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most important mycotoxins, and contaminates several agricultural products, particularly cereals, grapes, maize, barley, spices and coffee. The aim of this project was to reduce the levels of OTA by supplementing the artificially contaminated solutions with seven strains of actinobacteria (AT10, AT8, SN7, MS1, ML5, G10 and PT1) in order to evaluate their capacity for binding and metabolizing the OTA, as well as their ability to reduce the expression of the genes responsible for its production in A. carbonarius. In the first part of this study, we evaluated the capacity of Streptomyces strains for binding OTA on their surfaces after 0, 30 and 60 min of incubation with PBS solution supplemented with OTA. In the second part, we tested the ability of these strains, as well as their supernatants, to detoxify the ISP2 medium. Finally, we studied the effect of the Streptomyces cocultured with Aspergillus carbonarius on the expression of OTA biosynthesis genes. Results showed that, among the strains co-cultured with A. carbonarius, the strain G10 was able to reduce the expression of acpks, acOTApks, acOTAnrps and vea genes, thus reducing OTA from solid PDA medium to 13.50% of reduction. This strain was remarkably able to detoxify and bind OTA up to 47.07%. Strain AT8 was stronger in detoxifying OTA (52.61%), but had no significant effect on the studied gene expression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phage Display Analysis of Monoclonal Antibody Binding to Anthrax Toxin Lethal Factor
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
AVR1674 and AVR1675 are monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind with high specificity to anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) and lethal toxin (LTx). These mAbs have been used as pivotal reagents to develop anthrax toxin detection tests using mass spectrometry. The mAbs were demonstrated
[...] Read more.
AVR1674 and AVR1675 are monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind with high specificity to anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) and lethal toxin (LTx). These mAbs have been used as pivotal reagents to develop anthrax toxin detection tests using mass spectrometry. The mAbs were demonstrated to bind LF with good affinity (KD 10−7–10−9 M) and to enhance LF-mediated cleavage of synthetic peptide substrates in vitro. Sequence analysis indicated that the mAbs shared 100% amino acid identity in their complementarity determining regions (CDR). A phage display library based on a combinatorial library of random heptapeptides fused to the pIII coat protein of M13 phage was enriched and screened to identify peptide sequences with mAb binding properties. Selection and sequence analysis of 18 anti-LF-reactive phage clones identified a 7-residue (P1–P7) AVR1674/1675 consensus target binding sequence of TP1-XP2-K/RP3-DP4-D/EP5-ZP6-X/ZP7 (X = aromatic, Z = non-polar). The phage peptide sequence with highest affinity binding to AVR1674/1675 was identified as T-F-K-D-E-I-V. Synthetic oligopeptides were designed based on the phage sequences and interacted with mAbs with high affinity (KD ~ 10−9 M). Single amino acid substitutions of A, H, or Q in the peptides identified positions P1–P5 as critical residues for mAb-peptide interactions. CLUSTALW alignment of phage sequences with native LF implicated residues 644–650 (sequence T-H-Q-D-E-I-Y) as a putative linear epitope component located within a structural loop (L2) of LF Domain IV. The activation effects of these mAbs contribute to the analytic sensitivity of function-based LF detection assays. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Anthrax Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Content of the Saponin Protodioscin in Brachiaria spp. from the Eastern Plains of Colombia
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
Protodioscin is used as a marker of saponin content that could cause hepatotoxicity in ruminants. In Brachiaria spp. from two regions of the Colombian Eastern Plains (east mountain range of the Andean—“piedemonte” and Ariari River Valley) were determined this metabolite at 14 and
[...] Read more.
Protodioscin is used as a marker of saponin content that could cause hepatotoxicity in ruminants. In Brachiaria spp. from two regions of the Colombian Eastern Plains (east mountain range of the Andean—“piedemonte” and Ariari River Valley) were determined this metabolite at 14 and 28 days post-cutting under different climatic conditions. No protodioscin was detected in B. dictyoneura or B. humidicola. In B. brizantha, B. decumbens and B. ruziziensis x B. decumbens x B. brizantha (hybrid), protodioscin content corresponded to an interaction between species, post-cutting time and season. Concentrations ≥1% (minimum toxic level) were recorded in B. decumbens and the hybrid, and to a lesser extent in B. brizantha. The concentration of protodioscin was higher at 28 days, when the pastures are suitable for consumption. B. brizantha accumulated the lowest saponin concentration, whereas the hybrid had the highest levels, particularly in the “piedemonte” and during drought (3.37%). Dry season favored the protodioscin concentration in B. decumbens (in river valley) and in the hybrid (in “piedemonte”). In the latter, there was a positive correlation with temperature and a negative with humidity, which are typical characteristics of dry periods. This is the first report of protodioscin content in the hybrid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Toxins)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle The Mode of Action of Cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) in Inhibiting Aflatoxin Production of Aspergillus flavus
Received: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1651 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) inhibits aflatoxin production in aflatoxigenic fungi without affecting fungal growth. The mode of action of cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) in inhibiting aflatoxin production of Aspergillus flavus was investigated. A glutathione S-transferase (GST) of the fungus, designated
[...] Read more.
Cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) inhibits aflatoxin production in aflatoxigenic fungi without affecting fungal growth. The mode of action of cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) in inhibiting aflatoxin production of Aspergillus flavus was investigated. A glutathione S-transferase (GST) of the fungus, designated AfGST, was identified as a binding protein of cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) in an experiment performed using cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro)-immobilized Sepharose beads. Cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) specifically bound to recombinant AfGST and inhibited its GST activity. Ethacrynic acid, a known GST inhibitor, inhibited the GST activity of recombinant AfGST and aflatoxin production of the fungus. Ethacrynic acid reduced the expression level of AflR, a key regulatory protein for aflatoxin production, similar to cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro). These results suggest that cyclo(l-Ala-l-Pro) inhibits aflatoxin production by affecting GST function in A. flavus, and that AfGST inhibitors are possible candidates as selective aflatoxin production inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aflatoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Genotypic Regulation of Aflatoxin Accumulation but Not Aspergillus Fungal Growth upon Post-Harvest Infection of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Seeds
Received: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
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Abstract
Aflatoxin contamination is a major economic and food safety concern for the peanut industry that largely could be mitigated by genetic resistance. To screen peanut for aflatoxin resistance, ten genotypes were infected with a green fluorescent protein (GFP)—expressing Aspergillus flavus strain. Percentages of
[...] Read more.
Aflatoxin contamination is a major economic and food safety concern for the peanut industry that largely could be mitigated by genetic resistance. To screen peanut for aflatoxin resistance, ten genotypes were infected with a green fluorescent protein (GFP)—expressing Aspergillus flavus strain. Percentages of fungal infected area and fungal GFP signal intensity were documented by visual ratings every 8 h for 72 h after inoculation. Significant genotypic differences in fungal growth rates were documented by repeated measures and area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) analyses. SICIA (Seed Infection Coverage and Intensity Analyzer), an image processing software, was developed to digitize fungal GFP signals. Data from SICIA image analysis confirmed visual rating results validating its utility for quantifying fungal growth. Among the tested peanut genotypes, NC 3033 and GT-C20 supported the lowest and highest fungal growth on the surface of peanut seeds, respectively. Although differential fungal growth was observed on the surface of peanut seeds, total fungal growth in the seeds was not significantly different across genotypes based on a fluorometric GFP assay. Significant differences in aflatoxin B levels were detected across peanut genotypes. ICG 1471 had the lowest aflatoxin level whereas Florida-07 had the highest. Two-year aflatoxin tests under simulated late-season drought also showed that ICG 1471 had reduced aflatoxin production under pre-harvest field conditions. These results suggest that all peanut genotypes support A. flavus fungal growth yet differentially influence aflatoxin production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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