Fusarium is one of the most important genera of plant-pathogenic fungi in the world and arguably the world's most important mycotoxin-producing genus. Fusarium species produce a staggering array of toxic metabolites that contribute to plant disease and mycotoxicoses in humans and other animals. A thorough understanding of the mycotoxin potential of individual species is crucial for assessing the toxicological risks associated with Fusarium diseases. There are thousands of reports of mycotoxin production by various species, and there have been numerous attempts to summarize them. These efforts have been complicated by competing classification systems based on morphology, sexual compatibility, and phylogenetic relationships. The current depth of knowledge of Fusarium genomes and mycotoxin biosynthetic pathways provides insights into how mycotoxin production is distributed among species and multispecies lineages (species complexes) in the genus as well as opportunities to clarify and predict mycotoxin risks connected with known and newly described species. Here, we summarize mycotoxin production in the genus Fusarium and how mycotoxin risk aligns with current phylogenetic species concepts.
Keywords: deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, fusaric acid, moniliformin, trichothecenes, zearalenone.
Abstract published in Annual Review of Phytopathology. Vol. 59:373-402. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-phyto-020620-102825.