The new toxin (NX-3) has similar activity as protein biosynthesis inhibitor in plant and animal cells as the well-known mycotoxin deoxynivalenol, for which maximum tolerated levels in food were enacted in Europe. The new toxin is currently produced by about 3% of the investigated North American isolates. At the moment, it is unknown whether the new toxin provides a selective advantage to strains producing it.
In a close collaboration between analytical chemists (IFA Tulln, group Franz Berthiller) und molecular biologists from the Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology (group Gerhard Adam) the molecular basis for production of the new toxin could be elucidated. The first authors Elisabeth Varga und Gerlinde Wiesenberger (equally contributing, picture) could show that amino-acid changes in the TRI1 gene of Fusarium graminearum are responsible for the altered toxin production (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1462-2920.12718/abstract;jsessionid=0BBFDB91B760C6F896CC6E183C7F888D.f01t03).