The present study was designed to isolate and identify toxigenic mycoflora of maize and maize-gluten meal. A total of 82 samples of maize and 8 samples of maize-gluten meal were collected from Faisalabad district of Pakistan over a period of two years. These samples were inoculated on different culture media. Fungal contamination of maize and maize-gluten was 56% and 75% of samples, respectively. Isolation frequencies of different genera isolated from maize were Aspergillus 33%; Penicillium 28%; Fusarium 10%; and Alternaria 1%. Isolation frequency among species was maximum for P. verrucosum, followed by A. niger aggregates, A. ochraceous, A. flavus, P. chrysogenum, A. parasiticus, A. carbonarius, Fusarium spp. and Alternaria spp. Relative density of Aspergillus isolates was maximum for A. niger aggregates and A. ochraceous (30% each) followed by A. flavus (26%), A. parasiticus (11%) and A. carbonarius (3%). Percentage of toxigenic fungi among Aspergillus isolates was 52%. Aflatoxigenic isolates of A. flavus and A. parasiticus were 43 and 67% and ochratoxigenic isolates of A. carbonarius, A. ochraceous and A. niger aggregates were 100, 63 and 38%, respectively. Aspergillus parasiticus produced higher concentrations of AFB1 (maximum 1374.23 ng g-1) than A. flavus (maximum 635.50 ng g-1). Ochratoxin A production potential of A. ochraceous ranged from 1.81 to 9523.1 ng g-1, while in A. niger aggregates it was 1.30 to 1758.6 ng g-1. Isolation frequencies of fungal genera from maize-gluten meal were Aspergillus (63%) and Penicillium (50%). A. flavus was the most frequently isolated species. Percentage of toxigenic fungi among Aspergillus isolates was 40%. Aflatoxigenic isolates of A. flavus were 33% and ochratoxigenic isolates of A. ochraceous were 100%.
Aspergillus; ochratoxin A; aflatoxins; wheat; wheat-bran; Penicillium