Research Article

Molecular characterization of Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin contamination of wheat grains from Saudi Arabia

Published: September 03, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (3) : 3335-3352 DOI: 10.4238/2013.September.3.10

Abstract

Twelve species belonging to six fungal genera were found to be associated with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain samples collected from three main regions in Saudi Arabia. The most common genera (average frequency) were Aspergillus (14.3%), Fusarium (29.1%), Penicillium (9.3%), and Alternaria (8.2%). Nineteen isolates of Aspergillus flavus were screened for their ability to produce aflatoxins using HPLC. Thirteen isolates produced aflatoxins ranging from 0.5 to 2.6 μg/kg. Inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR), and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers were used, with the aim of genetically characterizing strains of A. flavus to discriminate between aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic isolates. RAPD and ISSR analysis revealed a high level of genetic diversity in the A. flavus population, useful for genetic characterization. Clustering based on RAPD and ISSR dendograms was unrelated to geographic origin. RAPD and ISSR markers were not suitable to discriminate aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic isolates, but ISSR primers were better compared to RAPD.

Twelve species belonging to six fungal genera were found to be associated with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain samples collected from three main regions in Saudi Arabia. The most common genera (average frequency) were Aspergillus (14.3%), Fusarium (29.1%), Penicillium (9.3%), and Alternaria (8.2%). Nineteen isolates of Aspergillus flavus were screened for their ability to produce aflatoxins using HPLC. Thirteen isolates produced aflatoxins ranging from 0.5 to 2.6 μg/kg. Inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR), and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers were used, with the aim of genetically characterizing strains of A. flavus to discriminate between aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic isolates. RAPD and ISSR analysis revealed a high level of genetic diversity in the A. flavus population, useful for genetic characterization. Clustering based on RAPD and ISSR dendograms was unrelated to geographic origin. RAPD and ISSR markers were not suitable to discriminate aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic isolates, but ISSR primers were better compared to RAPD.