Harmful fungi will fight toxins contaminating the crops

Up to 25% of the world’s crops are contaminated with toxins produced by some Aspergillus species, UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports.

“Certain strains of Aspergillus do not produce aflatoxins and are called atoxigenic strains,” said biologist Lourena Arone Maxwell. “These strains can compete with aflatoxin-producing strains during crop colonization and reduce overall contamination with aflatoxins.”

This approach will allow the creation of biopesticides based on atoxigenic strains of Aspergillus for sale in North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

“Our study proves that atoxigenic biocontrol strains of Aspergillus can both prevent and destroy aflatoxin contamination,” added Lourena Arone Maxwell. “And for the first time, we are demonstrating the ability of aflatoxins to serve as a nutrition for atoxigenic strains.”

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