Ochratoxin A production by Aspergillus section Nigri strains isolated from currants of Greek origin

AbstractBlack aspergilli is an important group of fungi used in biotechnology and food industry. Some species of this group produce hazardous mycotoxins such as ochratoxin A (OTA). During this study, four novel strains of Aspergillus section Nigri isolated from Greek currants (ATHUM 6997, 6998, 6999, 7000) were investigated for OTA production on Yeast Extract Sucrose (YES) medium and currants.  As strains control were used both A. carbonarius and A. ochraceus.

OTA determined using HPLC (Fluorescence Detector). Results revealed that OTA production by A. carbonarius in currants was not significantly different compared to OTA production by the Aspergillus section Nigri strains.

However the maximum amounts of OTA produced by the strains ATHUM 6997 and 6999 in currants were found to be ~2-fold lower than that by A. carbonarius. The maximum OTA levels produced by the strains ATHUM 6997, 6998, 6999 and 7000 were found to be ~7, ~12, ~9 and ~11 fold higher respectively, if compared to the maximum OTA production by A. ochraceus. The novel strains of Aspergillus section Nigri isolated from currants of Greek origin, produced significant amounts of OTA in YES medium and in currants. Along with a previous study, in the present work it is concluded that the four Aspergillus section Nigri strains are able to produce both aflatoxin B1 and OTA.

KeywordsOchratoxin A, Aspergillus section Nigri, Currants, Yeast extract sucrose

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