Application of the Biolog® Identification System for Aflatoxin-Producing Fungi Associated with Maize (Zea mays L.) Contamination in Romania

Irina SMEU, Elena Mirela CUCU, Alina Alexandra DOBRE, Hellene CASIAN


Cereals are very susceptible to fungal attacks. Fungi have a unique biochemical pathway to assimilate a vast array of available substrates and produce toxic secondary metabolites, such as mycotoxins, which represent a clear public health concern. In this context, a maize survey was conducted in order to assess the diversity of mycotoxin-producing fungi. Low levels of total aflatoxins, acceptable by the European Union, were detected in maize samples. A semi-automated Biolog® Microbial Identification System was used for the identification of the fungal strains. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used for the quantification of total aflatoxins. The results indicated that Fusarium udum and Rhizopus oryzae were the prevalent fungi for the assessed maize samples, while both control and treated samples showed low levels of total aflatoxins, which did not exceed 1.5 μg kg-1. The registered total aflatoxin concentrations were consistent with the European regulations.


aflatoxins; Biolog® system; maize.

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