Epidemiology of Mycotoxin Producing Fungi

The accumulation of mycotoxins in plants and plant products represents a major threat to human health. Toxins accumulate in plants following infection by species of Fusarium, Aspergillus and Penicillium. It has been estimated that one quarter of the world's food crops, including many basic foods, are affected by mycotoxin-producing fungi. The toxins are responsible for many different toxicities in humans and animals, including the induction of cancers, and digestive, blood and nerve defects. There is an urgent need to understand the factors that facilitate the infection of crops by these fungi and how these affect the accumulation of toxins in the affected parts, and their subsequent accumulation during storage. This information should enable crops to be grown and stored under conditions that minimise production of the toxins. This volume has gathered together specialist reports complied through EU-Cost Action 835: Agriculturally Important Toxigenic Fungi. The contents should be of particular interest to scientists concerned with the occurrence of mycotoxins and the environmental factors that lead to their accumulation in crops. It will also be of value to all those interested in epidemiological aspects of plant disease. The information will also be invaluable to those aiming to minimise the levels of mycotoxins in human and animal food products.
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