Medicinal plant compound reduces mycotoxins and sporulation


Executive Summary


Economic losses due to mycotoxins in the United States are estimated to be between $0.5 and $1.5 billion annually. Fungicides are only partially effective against mycotoxin-producing fungi because such fungi are naturally tolerant to many fungicides, and because when stressed by fungicide applications, fungi can respond by producing more of the mycotoxin. Durable host plant resistance is not available, despite many years of intensive breeding. An alternative to these solutions would be a compound or compounds that block mycotoxin biosynthesis, especially when mycotoxin levels can be high, even in asymptomatic nuts and grains. A medicinal plant extract shows promise in safely replacing synthetic pesticides for prevention of aflatoxin contamination in stored grains and nuts Diospyros species root powder, root powder extracts, and purified DQ and 3-HDQ compounds all effectively inhibit aflatoxin production. DQ and 3-HDQ also block spore formation by Aspergillus.


Description Technology


This technology is compositions useful for blocking mycotoxin production and spore production by fungi that contaminate grains and nuts, thereby stabilizing the quality of stored grains and nuts.  This reduces post-harvest losses due to mycotoxin contamination.  The compositions may also be used to treat crop plants pre-harvest.  Compositions include Diospyros root powder, root powder extracts, and the active compounds DQ and 3-HDQ.


Key Benefits

  • Reduces aflatoxin accumulation
  • Natural products
  • Readily available
  • Inexpensive


  • Food crops:  storage or pre-harvest application
  • Animal feed: storage or pre-harvest application


Patent Status:


Patent pending


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Gale M. Strasburg, Juma A. Mmongoyo, John E. Linz, Felicia Wu, Jovin K. Mugula Amila A. Dissanayake, Chuan-Rui Zhang, Josephine M. Wee, Muraleedharan G. Nair


Tech ID: 2017-0033


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University