Aerobic and anaerobic de-epoxydation of mycotoxin deoxynivalenol by bacteria originating from agricultural soil

  • Rafiqul Islam
  • Ting Zhou
  • J. Christopher Young
  • Paul H. Goodwin
  • K. Peter Pauls
Original Paper


One hundred and fifty soil samples collected from different crop fields in southern Ontario, Canada were screened to obtain microorganisms capable of transforming deoxynivalenol (DON) to de-epoxy DON (dE-DON). Microbial DON to dE-DON transformation (i.e. de-epoxydation) was monitored by using liquid chromatography-ultraviolet-mass spectrometry (LC-UV–MS). The effects of growth substrates, temperature, pH, incubation time and aerobic versus anaerobic conditions on the ability of the microbes to de-epoxydize DON were evaluated. A mixed microbial culture from one composite soil sample showed 100% DON to dE-DON biotransformation in mineral salts broth (MSB) after 144 h of incubation. Treatments of the culture with selective antibiotics followed an elevated temperature (50°C) for 1.5 h considerably reduced the microbial diversity. Partial 16S-rRNA gene sequence analysis of the bacteria in the enriched culture indicated the presence of at least six bacterial genera, namely Serratia, Clostridium, Citrobacter, Enterococcus, Stenotrophomonas and Streptomyces. The enriched culture completely de-epoxydized DON after 60 h of incubation. Bacterial de-epoxydation of DON occurred at pH 6.0–7.5, and a wide array of temperatures (12–40°C). The culture showed rapid de-epoxydation activity under aerobic conditions compared to anaerobic conditions. This is the first report on microbial DON to dE-DON transformation under aerobic conditions and moderate temperatures. The culture could be used to detoxify DON contaminated feed and might be a potential source for gene(s) for DON de-epoxydation.


Biotransformation De-epoxydation Deoxynivalenol Soil bacteria Vomitoxin 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafiqul Islam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ting Zhou
    • 1
  • J. Christopher Young
    • 1
  • Paul H. Goodwin
    • 3
  • K. Peter Pauls
    • 2
  1. 1.Guelph Food Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Department of Plant AgricultureUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  3. 3.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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