Current Status and Future Opportunities of Omics Tools in Mycotoxin Research



Eshelli M, Qader MM, Jambi EJ, Hursthouse AS, Rateb ME.


Toxins (Basel). 2018 Oct 26;10(11):433. doi: 10.3390/toxins10110433.


Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites of low molecular weight produced by filamentous fungi, such as Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium spp. Mycotoxins are natural contaminants of agricultural commodities and their prevalence may increase due to global warming. Dangerous mycotoxins cause a variety of health problems not only for humans, but also for animals. For instance, they possess carcinogenic, immunosuppressive, hepatotoxic, nephrotoxic, and neurotoxic effects. Hence, various approaches have been used to assess and control mycotoxin contamination. Significant challenges still exist because of the complex heterogeneous nature of food composition. The potential of combined omics approaches such as metabolomics, genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics would contribute to our understanding about pathogen fungal crosstalk as well as strengthen our ability to identify, isolate, and characterise mycotoxins pre and post-harvest. Multi-omics approaches along with advanced analytical tools and chemometrics provide a complete annotation of such metabolites produced before/during the contamination of crops. We have assessed the merits of these individual and combined omics approaches and their promising applications to mitigate the issue of mycotoxin contamination. The data included in this review focus on aflatoxin, ochratoxin, and patulin and would be useful as benchmark information for future research.

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Link/DOI: 10.3390/toxins10110433