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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #157641


item Mellon, Jay
item Moreau, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2004
Publication Date: 9/28/2004
Citation: Mellon, J.E., Moreau, R.A. 2004. Inhibition of aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus by diferuloylputrescine and p-coumaroylferuloylputrescine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 52(21):6660-6663.

Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxin is a very potent cancer-causing agent and toxin that is produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus. When this fungus infects corn plants, the developing seed can become contaminated with this toxin, rendering the product unusable for food or feed. Corn seed contain pairs of organic compounds in the seed coat tissue surrounding the internal kernel tissues containing food reserves. An investigation was undertaken to determine effects of these paired organic compounds on fungal growth and production of aflatoxin. These compounds did not affect fungal growth at the levels tested, but did significantly inhibit aflatoxin production. Paired organic compounds may constitute part of a chemical deterrent in corn seed to act as a defensive barrier against potential invasion by pathogens or insects. This research will benefit corn breeders, producers, and pathologists, and will aid in the formulation of methods to prevent aflatoxin contamination of food and feedstuffs.

Technical Abstract: A mixture of diferuloylputrescine (DFP)/p-coumaroylferuloylputrescine (CFP) (85:15, w/w) demonstrated inhibitory activity against aflatoxin B1 biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus isolate AF13. Inhibition was concentration dependent, with a 50 percent effective dose of 30 ug of DFP/CFP per mL of medium. Aflatoxin inhibition levels of up to 93 percent were achieved using this conjugated polyamine material. This DFP/CFP mixture did not display inhibitory effects on A. flavus growth (mycelial weight) at any of the concentrations tested. The localization of DFP/CFP components in pericarp tissue surrounding internal tissues of the corn kernel where food reserves are situated suggests a defensive role for these materials.