Blackleg metabolites do not add risk to canola products for export

November 13, 2015

KEY PRACTICE: L. maculans, the fungal pathogen that causes blackleg in canola, can produce a mycotoxin called sirodesmin PL, but this study found none of it in Alberta
canola samples.

PROJECT TITLE, LEAD RESEARCHER: “Evaluation of the toxicity of the secondary metabolites produced by Leptosphaeria maculans,” 2012-14, Xiujie (Susie) Li, Alberta Innovates — Technology Futures


Some strains of Leptosphaeria maculans, the fungal pathogen that causes blackleg in canola, produce the secondary metabolite sirodesmin PL. This metabolite is structurally related to gliotoxin, a mycotoxin (fungal toxin) that is a concern to the health of humans and farm animals. However, this study found no presence of sirodesmin PL in the end products of canola grown in Western Canada.

This two-year study under the Agriculture Funding Consortium, led by Xiujie (Susie) Li of Alberta Innovates, is the first to report on the toxicity of sirodesmin PL to animals and humans, and any levels to be found in canola. Although sirodesmin PL was found to have a toxicity comparable to that of gliotoxin, no sirodesmin PL was found in any of the canola seed, oil, and meal products in this study. This includes seed from tested fields, even where L. maculans contamination levels were very high.

Open the PDF to read the entire research summary from the 2015 Science Issue of Canola Digest

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