Phomopsins: an overview of phytopathological and chemical aspects, toxicity, analysis and occurrence

Paola Battilani, Alessia Gualla, C. Dall'Asta, C. Pellacani, G. Galaverna, Paola Giorni, A. Caglieri, S. Tagliaferri, Amedeo Pietri, A. Dossena, D. Spadaro, R. Marchelli, M. Gullino, L. Costa

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19 Citazioni (Scopus)


Phomopsis leptostromiformis, and its teleomorph Diaporthe toxica, is a lupin pathogen that causes stem blight in young lupins and, as a saprophyte, has been detected on dead lupine material. Under favourable conditions, the fungus produces phomopsins (PHOs), a family of macrocyclic hexapeptide mycotoxins capable of binding tubulin through the tripeptide side chain. The toxic effects appear largely confined to the liver. In particular, the ingestion of PHO contaminated lupin stubble has been linked to lupinosis, a debilitating disease of sheep (the most sensitive animal) characterised by disorientation, blindness, lethargy, and eventually death. The chemical structures of PHO A, B and D have been identified. Analytical methods to determine PHOs are mainly enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays or chromatographic separations, in combination with ultraviolet and mass spectrometric detection. The data about the PHOs occurrence are limited to Australia, restricted to lupin seed. Only one survey has been carried out on lupin seeds and flours from the Swiss market. Not many strategies have been developed to limit lupin seed contamination. Efforts devoted to control lupinosis in Australia focused on the development of cultivars resistant to Phomopsis infection. There are few examples in literature of decontamination or detoxification of PHOs; moreover, they have been shown to be resistant to extensive processing, including cooking. Australia and New Zealand are the only countries that included PHOs in their mycotoxin regulations, with a limit of 5 μg/kg in lupin seeds and derived products. Phomopsins are poorly studied mycotoxins and risk assessment on PHOs has not been done at the European level. The collection of all available scientific data was requested by EFSA in a specific project and partners involved considered it of general interest preparing this review to highlight the limited available information, which indicate that the assessment of potential risk related to PHOs is currently not feasible.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)345-359
Numero di pagine15
RivistaWorld Mycotoxin Journal
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • Diaporthe toxica
  • PHO
  • Phomopsis leptostromiformis
  • lupin
  • lupinosios


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