Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Aspergillus tamarii is a cosmopolitan mold that is common to agricultural soils and produce and was used to produce "tamarii sauce" used in traditional Japanese cooking. Because this mold is related to another important mold that produces aflatoxin, groups of scientists worldwide have investigated different sources of A. tamarii for ability to produce aflatoxin but none were found. This study reports for the first time, the production of aflatoxins by A. tamarii. This unique mold was isolated from soil collected in a tea field in Japan. This discovery will cause scientists to reexamine A. tamarii as a source of aflatoxins that could contaminate food or animal feed.
Technical Abstract: The production of aflatoxins B1 and B2 by Aspergillus tamarii (Subgenus Circumdati Section Flavi) is reported for the first time. The fungus was isolated from soil collected from a tea (Camellia sinensis) field in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. Three single-spore cultures, NRRL 25517, NRRL 25518, and NRRL 25519, were derived from subcultures of the original isolate "No. 19 (=MZ2)." Each of these single-spore cultures of A. tamarii produced aflatoxins B1 and B2, and cyclopiazonic acid, as well as black, pear-shaped sclerotia. The demonstration of aflatoxin production by A. tamarii is examined in connection with A. tamarii phylogenetic relationships, chemical ecology, and potential use in food fermentations.