Biological Control of Mycotoxigenic Fungi in Cereals: A Successful Step to Food Safety
Mohamed Fathi Abdallah1, Marthe De Boevre1, Sofie Landschoot2, Kris Audenaert2, Geert Haesaert2, Sarah De Saeger1
1Ghent University, Department of Bioanalysis, Belgium
Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is a devastating fungal disease of small grain cereals such as wheat and maize. This worldwide disease represents an obstacle to achieve food security and food safety due to its enormous effect in decreasing crop yield and the potential presence of mycotoxins, secondary toxic metabolites produced by the causative pathogen, fusarium graminearum, during crop infection. To overcome this problem, different strategies for FHB management have been proposed. Among them, biological control using non-pathogenic microorganisms is greatly encouraged as eco-friendly, safe and sustainable long-term solution (1). However, survival of these biocontrol agents in practice often still lags behind. The close association of beneficial endophytic fungi with the plant might be an interesting trait to guarantee a better survival in the rhizosphere. Despite crop residues play a crucial role in the disease incidence being a source for primary inoculum of fusarium graminearum, we hypothesised that they might also harbor valuable antagonistic fungi.
Keywords: Biological control, Fusarium, mycotoxins
Contact Address: Mohamed Fathi Abdallah, Ghent University, Department of Bioanalysis, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, e-mail: mohamed.fathiugent.be