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An insight into the distribution, genetic diversity, and mycotoxin production of Aspergillus section Flavi in soils of pistachio orchards

Abstract

In the present study, 193 Aspergillus strains were isolated from a total of 100 soil samples of pistachio orchards, which all of them were identified as Aspergillus flavus as the most abundant species of Aspergillus section Flavi existing in the environment. Approximately 59%, 81%, and 61% of the isolates were capable of producing aflatoxins (AFs), cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), and sclerotia, respectively. The isolates were classified into four chemotypes (I to IV) based on the ability to produce AFs and CPA. The resulting dendrogram of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis of 24 selected A. flavus isolates demonstrated the formation of two separate clusters. Cluster 1 contained both aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic isolates (17 isolates), whereas cluster 2 comprised only aflatoxigenic isolates (7 isolates). All the isolates of cluster 2 produced significantly higher levels of AFs than those of cluster 1 and the isolates that produced both AFB1 and AFB2 were found only in cluster 2. RAPD genotyping allowed the differentiation of A. flavus from Aspergillus parasiticus as a closely related species within section Flavi. The present study has provided for the first time the relevant information on distribution and genetic diversity of different A. flavus populations from nontoxigenic to highly toxigenic enable to produce hazardous amounts of AFB1 and CPA in soils of pistachio orchards. These fungi, either toxigenic or not-toxigenic, should be considered as potential threats for agriculture and public health.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported financially by Pasteur Institute of Iran (grant no. 89/528). The authors wish to gratefully thank Dr. Perng-Kuang Chang, Southern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, for the critical reading and helpful comments on the manuscript.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Mehdi Razzaghi-Abyaneh.

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Jamali, M., Ebrahimi, MA., Karimipour, M. et al. An insight into the distribution, genetic diversity, and mycotoxin production of Aspergillus section Flavi in soils of pistachio orchards. Folia Microbiol 57, 27–36 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12223-011-0090-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12223-011-0090-5

Keywords

  • Aflatoxin
  • Mycotoxin Production
  • Aspergillus Section
  • Fungal Spore Suspension
  • Sclerotium Production