Simultaneous degradation of aflatoxin B1 and zearalenone by a microbial consortium

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Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites mainly produced by filamentous fungal species that commonly contaminate staple foods and feeds. They cause significant economic losses and greatly harm food security. Simultaneous contamination of multiple mycotoxins and the accompanying additive and synergistic effects may cause even more serious harm. To develop a microbial consortium with the ability to degrade multiple mycotoxins, a previously identified consortium with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) degradation ability, TADC7, was domesticated by co-culturing with 500 μg l−1 AFB1 and 500 μg l−1 zearalenone (ZEA), yielding the derived microbial consortium TMDC. After 168 h of co-culture with TMDC, 2000 μg l−1AFB1 and 2000 μg l−1 ZEA were degraded by 98.9% and 88.5%, respectively. The proteins or enzymes in the TADC7 cell-free supernatant played a major role in mycotoxins degradation. The degradation ratios of 5000 μg l−1 AFB1 and 5000 μg l−1 ZEA by 48 h TMDC cell-free supernatant were 93.8% and 90.3% at 72 h, respectively. Based on 16S rRNA sequencing, Geobacillus and Tepidimicrobium might play important roles in mycotoxin degradation by TMDC, and the TMDC community composition was stable, irrespective of mycotoxin. This study established the biodegradation of different categories of mycotoxins, and will facilitate the practical application of microbial consortia in mycotoxin degradation.

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