Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 100, Issue 12, pp 5257–5272 | Cite as

Relationship between mycoparasites lifestyles and biocontrol behaviors against Fusarium spp. and mycotoxins production

  • Seon Hwa Kim
  • Vladimir Vujanovic


Global food security research is seeking eco-friendly solutions to control mycotoxins in grain infected by fungi (molds). In particular, mycotoxigenic Fusarium spp. outbreak is a chronic threat for cereal grain production, human, and animal health. In this review paper, we discuss up-to-date biological control strategies in applying mycoparasites as biological control agents (BCA) to prevent plant diseases in crops and mycotoxins in grain, food, and feed. The aim is to increase food safety and to minimize economic losses due to the reduced grain yield and quality. However, recent papers indicate that the study of the BCA specialists with biotrophic lifestyle lags behind our understanding of the BCA generalists with necrotrophic lifestyle. We examine critical behavioral traits of the two BCA groups of mycoparasites. The goal is to highlight their major characteristics in the context of future research towards an efficient biocontrol strategy against mycotoxin-producing Fusarium species. The emphasis is put on biocontrol of Fusarium graminearum, F. avenaceum, and F. culmorum causing Fusarium head blight (FHB) in cereals and their mycotoxins.


Biological control agents Mycoparasites Fusarium Mycotoxins 



This research was financially supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada–Discovery Grant to Dr. V. Vujanovic.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food and Bioproduct SciencesUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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