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Abstract Detail

Mycological Section

Porras-Alfaro, Andrea [1], Sandona, Katrina [1], Tobias, Terri [1].

Thermophilic fungi in corn grain: Potential implications on grain quality and human health.

Corn stored in grain bins can reach and maintain high temperatures that can provide a suitable environment to promote the growth of thermophilic fungi. This fungal growth can cause damage to the grain and lead to economic losses. Culture based methods and pyrosequencing techniques were used to characterize the diversity and abundance of thermophilic fungi in corn. Corn grain was collected from local farmers and a grain co-op in western Illinois, USA in 2011 and 2012. Surface sterilized and unsterilized grain was plated on Emerson yeast media and incubated at 50°C. Fungal isolates were sequenced using the ITS rDNA region. More than 90% of the grains plated were colonized by thermophilic fungi. Thermomyces lanuginosus (62% of sequences), Rhizomucor pusillus (15% of sequences), Aspergillus fumigatus (8% of sequences),and Thermoascus crustaceus (2% of sequences), were isolated as dominant species. Direct sequencing in corn using fungal specific primers showed a dominance of plant pathogens. Thermophiles were represented by less than 2% of the sequences despite a high isolation rate using culturing methods. The high dominance of actively growing thermophilic fungi in corn and the bias in detection using molecular methods could represent a major potential health risk for farm workers and corn-derived products in the food industry.

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1 - Western Illinois University, Biological Sciences, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL, 61455, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 67
Location: Salon 1/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 67004
Abstract ID:377
Candidate for Awards:None

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