Aspergillus species from groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea) and mycotoxin production by toxigenic species
Malaysian Journal of Microbiology
Aims: Groundnut is an important food crop and is susceptible to contamination by Aspergillus. The present study was conducted to identify Aspergillus spp. from groundnuts as well as to detect mycotoxin production by toxigenic species. Methodology and results: Molecular identification using ITS region, β-tubulin and calmodulin genes identified six species, A. niger, A. tubingensis, A. flavus, A. aculeatus, A. sydowii and A. fumigatus. Phylogenetic tree of combined sequences showed the isolates
... om the same species were grouped with reference strains in the same clade, thus the species identity was confirmed. Detection of mycotoxin biosynthesis genes can give an indication of mycotoxin production. Two ochratoxin A genes, PKS15KS and PKS15C-MeT were detected in seven A. niger isolates but none of the isolates produced ochratoxin A when quantification was conducted using Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Two aflatoxin B1 biosynthesis genes, Nor-1 (norsolorinic acid) and Ver-1 (Versicolorin) genes were detected in A. flavus but only KDH7 and KL27b isolates produced aflatoxin B1 with concentrations of 1.0 μg/g and 1.1 μg/g, respectively. Conclusion, significance and impact of the study: Various species of Aspergillus found on groundnuts may lead to potential mycotoxin contamination as toxigenic species were also recovered. The occurrence of Aspergillus spp. can reduce the quality of the legumes as well as reducing their shelf life.