Fungi and Mycotoxins in Space - A Review

Gilke De Middeleer, Natalie Leys, Benedikt Sas, Sarah De Saeger

    Research outputpeer-review


    Fungi are not only present on Earth but colonize spacecraft and space stations as well. This review provides an extensive overview of the large and diverse group of fungal species that have been found in space, as well as those corresponding detection methods used and the existing and potential future prevention and control strategies. Many of the identified fungal species in space, such as Aspergillus flavus and Alternaria sp., are mycotoxigenic; thus, they are potential mycotoxin producers. This indicates that, although the fungal load in space stations tends to be non-alarming, the effects should not be underestimated, since the effect of the space environment on mycotoxin production should be sufficiently studied as well. However, research focused on mycotoxin production under conditions found on space stations is essentially nonexistent, since these kinds of spaceflight experiments are rare. Consequently, it is recommended that detection and monitoring systems for fungi and mycotoxins in space are at some point prioritized such that investigations into the impact of the space environment on mycotoxin production is addressed
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - 11 Apr 2019

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