Fungal Deterioration of the Bagasse Storage from the Harvested Sugarcane
Background Sugarcane is an essential crop for sugar and ethanol production. Immediate processing of sugarcane is necessary after harvesting because of rapid sucrose losses and deterioration of stalks. This study was conducted to fill the knowledge gap regarding the exploration of fungal communities in harvested deteriorating sugarcane. Experiments were performed on simulating production at 30 ℃ and 40 ℃ after 0, 12, and 60 hours (h) of sugarcane harvesting and powder-processing. Results Both pH
... and sugar content declined significantly within 12 h. Fungal taxa were unraveled using ITS amplicon sequencing. With the increasing temperature, the diversity of the fungal community decreased over time. The fungal community structure significantly changed within 12 h of bagasse storage. Before storing, the dominant genus (species) in bagasse was Wickerhamomyces (W. anomalus). Following storage, at 30 ℃ and 40°C, Kazachstania (K. humilis) and Saccharomyces (S. cerevisiae) gradually grew, becoming abundant fungi. We found that the bagasse at different temperatures had a similar pattern after storage for the same intervals, indicating that the temperature was the primary cause for the variation of core features. Moreover, the impact of dominant fungal species on sugar content and pH of stored sugarcane juice was investigated. Also, the correlation between top fungal genera and significant environmental factors was assessed. Conclusions The study highlighted the importance of timeliness to refine sugar as soon as possible after harvesting the sugarcane crop. The lessons learned from this research are vital for sugarcane growers and the sugar industry for minimizing postharvest losses.