Research projects

Our team works in two areas related to food mycology and mycotoxicology:

  1. Basic research for the development of technological strategies to reduce food contamination with fungi and mycotoxins, by mean of the following approaches:
    a. Plant immunology: Prevention of fungal infections in corn and peanuts by Fusarium verticillioides and Thecaphora frezii, respectively, by chemical induction of systemic acquired resistance (SAR).
    b. Mechanisms involved in peanut infection by T. frezii: Study of chemical communication between the anatomical sites of fungal income to the plant (pods) and fungal structures of resistance (teliospores) nearby in the ground, which induce germination of spores and subsequent infection for production of smut.
  2. Identification and characterization of mechanisms involved in the induction of hepatotoxic and immunotoxic effects produced by the mycotoxins aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), fumonisin B1 (FB1), and mixtures of both toxins, specially focusing in:
    a. The oxidative stress as a mediator of toxicity.
    b. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) as a transcription factor probably involved in the biological responses to both mycotoxins.



  • Arias SL, Mary VS, Rodriguez MG, Velez PA, Otaiza Gonzalez SN, and Theumer MG. 2021. Where does the peanut smut pathogen, Thecaphora frezii, fit in the spectrum of smut diseases? Plant Dis. 2021 Apr 27. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-11-20-2438-FE.

  • Jacquat AG, Theumer MG, Cañizares MC, Debat HJ, Iglesias J, García Pedrajas MD, Dambolena JS. 2020. A Survey of mycoviral infection in Fusarium spp. isolated from maize and sorghum in Argentina identifies the first mycovirus from Fusarium verticillioides. Viruses. 2020 Oct 14;12(10):1161.

  • Theumer MG, Henneb Y, Khoury L, Snini SP, Tadrist S, Canlet C, Puel O, Oswald IP, and Audebert M. 2018. Genotoxicity of aflatoxins and their precursors in human cells. Toxicol. Lett. 2018 Feb 5;287:100-107.

  • Mary VS, Arias SL, Otaiza SN, Velez PA, Rubinstein HR, and Theumer MG. 2017. The aflatoxin B1 -fumonisin B1 toxicity in BRL-3A hepatocytes is associated to induction of cytochrome P450 activity and arachidonic acid metabolism. Environ. Toxicol. 2017 Jun;32(6):1711-1724.

  • Arias SL, Mary VS, Otaiza SN, Wunderlin DA, Rubinstein HR, and Theumer MG. 2016. Toxin distribution and sphingoid base imbalances in Fusarium verticillioides-infected and fumonisin B1-watered maize seedlings. Phytochemistry May;125:54-64.

  • Mary VS, Valdehita A, Navas JM, Rubinstein HR, and Fernandez-Cruz ML. 2015. Effects of aflatoxin B(1), fumonisin B(1) and their mixture on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and cytochrome P450 1A induction. Food Chem. Toxicol. 75: 104-111.

  • Arias SL, Theumer MG, Mary VS, and Rubinstein HR. 2012. Fumonisins: probable role as effectors in the complex interaction of susceptible and resistant maize hybrids and Fusarium verticillioides. J. Agric. Food Chem. Jun 6;60(22):5667-75. Epub 2012 May 23.

  • Mary VS, Theumer MG, Arias SL, and Rubinstein HR. 2012. Reactive oxygen species sources and biomolecular oxidative damage induced by aflatoxin B1 and fumonisin B1 in rat spleen mononuclear cells. Toxicology. 302(2-3):299-307.

  • Theumer MG, Clop PD, Rubinstein HR, and Perillo MA. 2012. Effect of surface charge on the interfacial orientation and conformation of FB1 in model membranes. J. Phys. Chem. B. Dec 13;116(49):14216-14227.

  • Theumer MG, Cánepa MC, López AG, Mary VS, Dambolena JS, and Rubinstein HR. 2010. Subchronic mycotoxicoses in Wistar rats: Assessment of the in vivo and in vitro genotoxicity induced by fumonisins and aflatoxin B1, and oxidative stress biomarkers status. Toxicology 268(1-2):104-110.

  • Theumer MG, López AG, Aoki MP, Cánepa MC, and Rubinstein HR. 2008. Subchronic mycotoxicoses in rats. Histopathological changes and modulation of the sphinganine to sphingosine (Sa:So) ratio imbalance induced by Fusarium verticillioides culture material, due to the coexistence of aflatoxin B1 in the diet. Food Chem. Toxicol. Mar;46(3):967-77.

  • Theumer MG, Clop EM, Rubinstein HR, and Perillo MA. 2008. The lipid mediated hypothesis of Fumonisin B1 toxicodynamics tested in model membranes. Colloids Surf. B Biointerfaces Jan;64:22-33.

  • Dambolena JS, López AG, Zygadlo JA, Cánepa MC, Theumer MG, and Rubinstein HR. 2008. Inhibitory effect of cyclic terpenes (limonene, menthol, menthone and thymol) on Fusarium verticillioides MRC 826 growth and its fumonisin B1 biosynthesis. Toxicon. Toxicon. Jan;51(1):37-44.