Many fungi produce biologically active compounds, a few of which are poisonous to animals or plants and are along these lines called mycotoxins. Of specific pertinence to people are mycotoxins created by molds causing food deterioration, and poisonous mushrooms. Especially scandalous are the deadly amatoxins in some Amanita mushrooms, and ergot alkaloids, which have a long history of causing genuine epidemics of ergotism in individuals burning-through rye or related grains contaminated with sclerotia of the ergot parasite, Claviceps purpurea.
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