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Microbial Degradation of Zearalenone by a Novel Microbial Consortium, NZDC-6, and Its Application on Contaminated Corncob by Semisolid Fermentation

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posted on 2020-02-03, 21:03 authored by Yi Wang, Chunxia Zhao, Dongdong Zhang, Mingming Zhao, Maomin Peng, Peng Guo, Zongjun Cui
A novel microbial consortium (NZDC-6) was screened and characterized to detoxify the estrogenic mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEA), which commonly contaminates maize and is a major threat to food and health security. We found NZDC-6 to be thermophilic and highly effective, with a 90.3% ZEA degradation ratio at an optimum temperature of 60 °C. NZDC-6 was also effective at degrading the more estrogenic ZEA cognates, α-zearalenol (α-ZAL) and β-zearalenol (β-ZAL), with >90% degradation ratios. To evaluate a practical application, ZEA-contaminated corncobs were treated with NZDC-6 via semisolid fermentation. Measurements of physicochemical parameters and 16S microbial diversity and redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated that ZEA removal was most efficient at a low corncob solid content (< 5%), as a high solid content overwhelmed the microbial metabolic load, leading to increased dissolved oxygen and lowered pH. Our results demonstrate that the control of environmental variables is crucial for effective ZEA microbial removal in practical applications.