New insight into microbial degradation of mycotoxins during anaerobic digestion

Waste Manag. 2021 Jan 1;119:215-225. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2020.09.048. Epub 2020 Oct 15.


Anaerobic digestion represents an interesting approach to produce biogas from organic waste materials contaminated by mycotoxins. In this study a shotgun metagenomic analysis of lab-scale bioreactors fed with mycotoxin-contaminated silage has been carried out to characterize the evolution of microbial community under the operating conditions and the key enzymatic activities responsible for mycotoxin degradation. The study was conducted at two different level of contamination for fumonisins and aflatoxin B1. After 15 days biogas production was not influenced by the presence of mycotoxins. Metagenomic analysis revealed that a high contamination rate of mycotoxins interfere with microbial diversity. Degradation of mycotoxins accounted in about 54% for aflatoxin B1 and 60% for fumonisins. The degradation activity of fumonisins resulted in the presence of partially hydrolyzed forms in both tested contamination levels. Accordingly, metagenomic functional analysis revealed the presence of two new carboxylesterase genes belonging to D. bacterium and P. bacterium putatively involved in fumonisin degradation.

Keywords: Aflatoxins; Biogas; Bioremediation; Carboxylesterase; Fumonisins.

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Biofuels
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Fumonisins* / analysis
  • Mycotoxins* / analysis
  • Mycotoxins* / metabolism
  • Zea mays / metabolism


  • Biofuels
  • Fumonisins
  • Mycotoxins