Mycotoxins in Plant Disease
The accumulation of mycotoxins in plants and plant products is one of the most important consequences of plant diseases, especially those caused by species of Fusarium, Aspergillus and Penicillium. It has been estimated that 25% of world food crops, including many basic food crops, are affected by mycotoxins. The toxins are responsible for various toxicities in animals and humans, including carcinogenic and teratogenic effects, and digestive, blood and nerve disorders. There is thus an urgent need to understand the nature of the toxigenic fungi that are widespread on economically important plant products and the role of these toxic secondary metabolites in the development of disease, i.e. as virulence or pathogenicity factors, in order to minimise the accumulation of these products in a range of food products.
This volume has gathered together specialist reports compiled through EU-COST Action 835: Agriculturally Important Toxigenic Fungi. The contents should be of particular value to scientists interested in the occurrence and nature of mycotoxins, their importance in the development of disease and the molecular nature of plant-pathogen interactions. The information will also be invaluable to those responsible for determining the levels of mycotoxins in human and animal food and deciding upon regulatory limitations on the levels of mycotoxins in agricultural products.