Molecular and Cellular Biology

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Fusarium verticillioides is the most predominant fungal phytopathogen of cereals and it is posing great concern from a global perspective. The fungus is mainly associated with maize, rice, sorghum, wheat, sugarcane, banana, and asparagus and causes cob, stalk, ear, root, crown, top, and foot rot. F. verticillioides produces fumonisins as the major secondary metabolite along with trace levels of beauvericin, fusaric acid, fusarin C, gibberiliformin, and moniliformin. Being a potential carcinogen, fumonisins continue to receive major attention as they are common contaminants in cereals and its processed food products. The importance of elimination of F. verticillioides growth and its associated fumonisin from cereals cannot be overemphasized considering the significant health hazards associated with its consumption. Physical and chemical approaches have been shown to reduce fumonisin B1 concentrations among feeds and food products but have proved to be ineffective during the production process. Hence, biological control methods using microorganisms, plant extracts, antioxidants, essential oils, phenolic compounds, and other advanced technologies such as growing disease-resistant crops by applying genetic engineering, have become an effective alternative for managing F. verticillioides and its toxin. The different methods, challenges, and concerns regarding the biocontrol of F. verticillioides and production of fumonisin B1 have been addressed in the present review.

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Journal of Fungi

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This article received funding through Kennesaw State University's Faculty Open Access Publishing Fund, supported by the KSU Library System and KSU Office of Research.