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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 #351811

Research Project: Molecular and Environmental Factors Controlling Aflatoxin Reduction by Non-Toxigenic Aspergillus Strains

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Isolation and characterization of fungi isolated from Nigerian cocoa samples

item FAPOHUNDA, STEPHEN - Babcock University
item Moore, Geromy
item AROYEUN, OLUSEGUN - Cocoa Research Institute Of Nigeria
item AYENI, KOLAWOLE - Babcock University
item ADUROJA, ESTER - Babcock University
item ODETUNDE, SIMEON - Babcock University

Submitted to: Current Life Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/2018
Publication Date: 8/28/2018
Citation: Fapohunda, S.O., Moore, G.G., Aroyeun, O.S., Ayeni, K.I., Aduroja, E.D., Odetunde, S.K. 2018. Isolation and characterization of fungi isolated from Nigerian cocoa samples. Current Life Sciences. 4(3):46-52.

Interpretive Summary: Cocoa is a major export for Nigerian farmers, but the lack of knowledge about seed/pod-infecting fungi pose potential economic and health risks. Fungi isolated from powdered cocoa samples were subjected to morphological examination and subsequent mycotoxin analysis (based on their morphological identifications). Ten fungi were isolated from 40 cocoa samples, and several of them were found to produce some of the specific mycotoxins investigated. Morphological identifications for two species conflicted with mycotoxin and/or molecular analysis. This study was performed to elucidate some of the contaminating fungi (and potential mycotoxins) for cocoa, as well as to show the importance of using more than one morphology to characterize fungal species.

Technical Abstract: Forty ground cocoa samples were divided for two different studies: morphological identification via culture on potato dextrose agar and mycotoxin analysis via Ultra Pure Liquid Chromatography (UPLC). Ten pure fungal cultures isolated from the cocoa samples were putatively identified based on morphological characters. Several Aspergillus species were identified, which were tested for aflatoxin and cyclopiazonic acid production via thin layer chromatography (TLC). The addition of molecular analysis (amplification and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer genomic region, as well as mycotoxin analysis, allowed us to refute our morphological identifications for two isolates. This study highlights the importance of combining morphology (macro and micro), extrolite (metabolite) production and molecular examination when characterizing fungi.