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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Dec;78(24):8694-702. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02391-12. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Glucosylation and other biotransformations of T-2 toxin by yeasts of the trichomonascus clade.

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  • 1Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Peoria, Illinois, USA.


Trichothecenes are sesquiterpenoid toxins produced by Fusarium species. Since these mycotoxins are very stable, there is interest in microbial transformations that can remove toxins from contaminated grain or cereal products. Twenty-three yeast species assigned to the Trichomonascus clade (Saccharomycotina, Ascomycota), including four Trichomonascus species and 19 anamorphic species presently classified in Blastobotrys, were tested for their ability to convert the trichothecene T-2 toxin to less-toxic products. These species gave three types of biotransformations: acetylation to 3-acetyl T-2 toxin, glycosylation to T-2 toxin 3-glucoside, and removal of the isovaleryl group to form neosolaniol. Some species gave more than one type of biotransformation. Three Blastobotrys species converted T-2 toxin into T-2 toxin 3-glucoside, a compound that has been identified as a masked mycotoxin in Fusarium-infected grain. This is the first report of a microbial whole-cell method for producing trichothecene glycosides, and the potential large-scale availability of T-2 toxin 3-glucoside will facilitate toxicity testing and development of methods for detection of this compound in agricultural and other products.

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