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Bioguided Isolation, Characterization, and Biotransformation by Fusarium verticillioides of Maize Kernel Compounds That Inhibit Fumonisin Production

October 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  10
Pages  1,148 - 1,158

Vessela Atanasova-Penichon,1 Stéphane Bernillon,2,3 Gisèle Marchegay,1 Aurélia Lornac,1 Laetitia Pinson-Gadais,1 Nadia Ponts,1 Enric Zehraoui,1 Christian Barreau,4 and Florence Richard-Forget1

1INRA, UR1264 MycSA; 2INRA, UMR1332 Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie; 3Metabolome Facility of Bordeaux Functional Genomics Center, IBVM; and 4CNRS, UR1264 MycSA, 71 Avenue Edouard Bourlaux, CS 20032, 33882 Villenave d'Ornon cedex, France

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Accepted 1 July 2014.

Fusarium verticillioides infects maize ears, causing ear rot disease and contamination of grain with fumonisin mycotoxins. This contamination can be reduced by the presence of bioactive compounds in kernels that are able to inhibit fumonisin biosynthesis. To identify such compounds, we used kernels from a maize genotype with moderate susceptibility to F. verticillioides, harvested at the milk-dough stage (i.e., when fumonisin production initiates in planta), and applied a bioguided fractionation approach. Chlorogenic acid was the most abundant compound in the purified active fraction and its contribution to fumonisin inhibitory activity was up to 70%. Moreover, using a set of maize genotypes with different levels of susceptibility, chlorogenic acid was shown to be significantly higher in immature kernels of the moderately susceptible group. Altogether, our data indicate that chlorogenic acid may considerably contribute to either maize resistance to Fusarium ear rot, fumonisin accumulation, or both. We further investigated the mechanisms involved in the inhibition of fumonisin production by chlorogenic acid and one of its hydrolyzed products, caffeic acid, by following their metabolic fate in supplemented F. verticillioides broths. Our data indicate that F. verticillioides was able to biotransform these phenolic compounds and that the resulting products can contribute to their inhibitory activity.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2014.