Endofungal bacteria as producers of mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are compounds of fungal origin that can adversely affect human, animal and plant health through food spoilage or infection, even to the point of epidemics such as turkey X disease and ergotism. The biosynthetic pathways of various mycotoxins (such as aflatoxin and fumonisins) are generally well understood. However, two examples have recently been described where a mycotoxin is not synthesized by the fungus itself but by bacteria residing within the fungal cytosol. These discoveries have implications in various fields, such as ecology, medicine and food processing.