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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improvement of Biological Control Fungi for Reduction of Aflatoxin Contamination

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Relationships between in vivo and in vitro aflatoxin production: reliable prediction of fungal ability to contaminate maize with aflatoxins

Authors
item Probst, Claudia -
item Cotty, Peter

Submitted to: Fungal Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2012
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Citation: Probst, C., Cotty, P.J. 2012. Relationships between in vivo and in vitro aflatoxin production: reliable prediction of fungal ability to contaminate maize with aflatoxins. Fungal Biology. 116:503-510.

Technical Abstract: Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic mycotoxins frequently produced by Aspergillus flavus. Contamination of maize with aflatoxins imposes both economic and health burdens in many regions. Identification of the most important etiologic agents of contamination is complicated by mixed infections and varying aflatoxin-producing potential of fungal species and individuals. In order to know the potential importance of an isolate to cause a contamination event, the ability of the isolate to produce aflatoxins on the living host must be determined. Aflatoxin production in vitro (synthetic and natural media) was contrasted with in vivo (viable maize kernels) in order to determine ability of in vitro techniques to predict the relative importance of causal agents to maize contamination events. Several media types and fermentation techniques (aerated, non-aerated, fermentation volume) were compared. There was no correlation between aflatoxin production in viable maize and production in any of the tested liquid fermentation media using any of the fermentation techniques. Isolates that produced aflatoxins on viable maize frequently failed to produce detectable (limit of detection = 1 ppb) aflatoxin concentrations in synthetic media. Aflatoxin production on autoclaved maize kernels was highly correlated with production on viable maize kernels. The results have important implications for researchers seeking to either identify causal agents of contamination events or characterize atoxigenic isolates for biological control.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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