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Is Quorum Signaling by Mycotoxins a New Risk-Mitigating Strategy for Bacterial Biocontrol of Fusarium verticillioides and Other Endophytic Fungal Species?

Bacon, Charles W., Hinton, Dorothy M., Mitchell, Trevor R.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.33 pp. 7071-7080
Fusarium verticillioides, bacteria, bioassays, biological control, biological control agents, corn, endophytes, fumonisins, fungi, intercellular spaces, metabolites, plant pathogens, quorum sensing
Bacterial endophytes are used as biocontrol organisms for plant pathogens such as the maize endophyte Fusarium verticillioides and its production of fumonisin mycotoxins. However, such applications are not always predictable and efficient. In this work, we hypothesize and review work that quorum sensing inhibitors are produced either by fungi or by pathogenic bacteria for competitive purposes, altering the efficiency of the biocontrol organisms. Recently, quorum sensing inhibitors have been isolated from several fungi, including Fusarium species, three of which are mycotoxins. Thus, we further postulate that other mycotoxins are inhibitors or quenching metabolites that prevent the protective abilities and activities of endophytic biocontrol bacteria within intercellular spaces. To test the aforementioned suppositions, we review work detailing the use of bioassay bacteria for several mycotoxins for quorum activity. We specifically focus on the quorum use of endophytic bacteria as biocontrols for mycotoxic fungal endophytes, such as the Fusarium species and the fumonisin mycotoxins.