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Last update: May 2021

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UR 1264 - MYCSA : Mycologie et securite des aliments


Mycologie & Sécurité des Aliments
INRA Bordeaux-Aquitaine
BP 81
33883 Villenave d'Ornon Cedex

Efficiency of Hydroxycinnamic Acids to Inhibit the Production of Enniatins by Fusarium avenaceum and Modulate the Expression of Enniatins Biosynthetic Genes

25 November 2020

Gauthier et al Toxins 2020
Our new article published in Toxins

Gautier, C.; Pinson-Gadais, L.; Verdal-Bonnin, M.-N.; Ducos, C.; Tremblay, J.; Chéreau, S.; Atanasova, V.; Richard-Forget, F. Investigating the Efficiency of Hydroxycinnamic Acids to Inhibit the Production of Enniatins by Fusarium avenaceum and Modulate the Expression of Enniatins Biosynthetic Genes. Toxins 2020, 12, 735.


Enniatins (ENNs) that belong to the group of emerging mycotoxins are widespread contaminants of agricultural commodities. There is currently insufficient evidence to rule out health concerns associated with long-term exposure to ENNs and efforts must be strengthened to define a control strategy. While the potential of plant compounds to counteract the contamination with legislated mycotoxins has been reported, little remains known regarding ENNs. The present study evidenced for the first time the efficiency of hydroxycinnamic acids to inhibit the fungal growth and ENNs yield by Fusarium avenaceum. Notably, 0.5 mM of exogenous ferulic, caffeic, and p-coumaric acids led to a drastic reduction of ENNs synthesis in pH4 broths, with ferulic acid being the most potent. The ENNs production inhibitory activity of ferulic acid was shown to be associated with a significant down-regulation of the expression of ENNs biosynthetic genes. To further investigate the bioactivity of ferulic acid, its metabolic fate was characterized in fungal broths and the capacity of F. avenaceum to metabolize it through a C2-cleavage type degradation was demonstrated. Overall, our data support the promising use of ferulic acid in ENNs control strategies, either as part of an environmentally friendly plant-care product or as a biomarker of plant resistance.