Soil fungi of some low-altitude desert cotton fields and ability of their extracts to inhibit Aspergillus flavus
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Soil is presumed to be a major source of inoculum for Aspergillus flavus which contaminates cottonseed and produces the potent carcinogen, aflatoxin. Little is known about the mycoflora of the low desert soils of cotton fields where aflatoxin is a chronic problem. In this study, soils from cotton fields in southwestern Arizona and southeastern California were assayed for filamentous fungi. Forty-two taxa, predominantly in the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium, were isolated. To determine whether or not compounds produced by these fungi could be potential inhibitors of A. flavus, extracts of strains of each taxon were tested for their ability to inhibit growth of A. flavus. Twelve taxa produced compounds inhibitory to A. flavus, including several strains of Fusarium solani, Penicillium vinaceum and Aspergillus auricomus.
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