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Mol Plant Pathol. 2006 Jul;7(4):285-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2006.00338.x.

Signalling pathways connecting mycotoxin production and sporulation.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1630 Linden Dr, Madison, WI 53706-1598, USA.


Mycotoxin contamination of food and feed presents a serious food safety issue on a global scale, causing tremendous yield and economic losses. These toxins, produced largely by members of the genera Aspergillus and Fusarium, represent a subset of the impressive array of secondary metabolites produced by filamentous fungi. Some secondary metabolites are associated temporally and functionally with sporulation. In Aspergillus and Fusarium, sporulation and mycotoxin production are both regulated by G protein signalling pathways. G protein signalling pathways commonly regulate fungal development, stress response and expression of virulence traits. In addition, fungal development is influenced by external factors. Among these are lipids, and in particular, oxylipin signals, which may be derived from either the fungus or infected seeds. Regardless of origin, oxylipins have the potential to elicit profound changes in both sporulation and mycotoxin production in the fungus. Signal transduction via G protein signalling pathways represents one mechanism by which oxylipin signals might elicit these changes. Therefore, in this review we integrate discussion of oxylipin signals and of G protein signalling cascades as regulators of fungal development.

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