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  • Author or Editor: Khayalethu Ntushelo x
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Using NMR spectroscopy benzene derivatives were detected in mycelia of Fusarium graminearum, a pathogen of wheat and maize. In previous studies F. graminearum was found to cause cancer to humans and benzene derivatives were detected in breath of cancer sufferers. Surprisingly, no study found benzene derivatives to be the cancerous agents in F. graminearum. In this study we detected benzene derivatives in F. graminearum and propose to study their role as cancer agents.

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Fusarium graminearum, a pathogen of wheat and maize, not only reduces grain yield and degrades quality but also produces mycotoxins in the infected grain. Focus has been on mycotoxins because of the human and animal health hazards associated with them. In addition to work done on mycotoxins, chemical profiling of F. graminearum to identify other compounds produced by this fungus remains critical. With chemical profiling of F. graminearum the entire chemistry of this fungus can be understood. The focus of this work was to identify chlorinated compounds produced by F. graminearum. Various chlorinated compounds were detected and their role in F. graminearum is yet to be understood.

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One-day-old cultures of the plant pathogenic fungus Alternaria alternata were exposed to 0%, 5% and 10% acetaldehyde mixed with distilled water. Fungal growth data showed that, overall, the 5% and the 10% acetaldehyde treatments significantly inhibited the growth of A. alternata, and that acetyldehyde also facilitated maturity and multicellularity of fungal conidia. The increase of the acetyldehyde dose also caused correlated decrease of adenosine 3’,5’-cyclic monophosphate produced by A. alternata.

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