Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology

The effects of selected cotton-leaf volatiles on growth, development and aflatoxin production of Aspergillus parasiticus.

PMID 10340828


The fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus produce the hepatocarcinogenic, secondary metabolites, aflatoxins, in cottonseed, corn, peanuts and treenuts. Results have shown that aflatoxigenic strains of A. flavus and A. parasiticus grown in the presence of specific cotton-leaf volatiles exhibit alterations in aflatoxin production accompanied by variations in growth of the fungi. In this study, two alcohols (3-methyl-1-butanol (3-MB) and nonanol) and two terpenes (camphene and limonene) were chosen as representative cotton-leaf volatiles based on the effects they had on fungal growth and/ or aflatoxin production in previous investigations. The morphological effects of volatile exposure were examined in correlation with fungal growth and aflatoxin production. 3-MB-treated samples exhibited a decrease in fungal radial growth which was directly proportional to the volatile dosage. Additionally, 3-MB treatment resulted in loss of mycelial pigmentation and a decrease in sporulation. Limonene and camphene-treated samples yielded negligible differences in radial growth and morphology when compared to unexposed controls. In addition to radial growth inhibition, samples grown in the presence of nonanol demonstrated uniquely aerial hyphae. In comparison to an unexposed control, aflatoxin production increased in cultures exposed to 3-MB but decreased when exposed to the other three volatiles studied.

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