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Toxins 2015, 7(8), 2985-2999; doi:10.3390/toxins7082985

Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on Different Toxigenic and Atoxigenic Isolates of Aspergillus flavus

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
USDA-ARS, Crop Protection and Management Research Unit, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
USDA-ARS, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA
Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
USDA-ARS, Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research Unit, Athens, GA 30605, USA
USDA-ARS, Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Deepak Bhatnagar
Received: 24 June 2015 / Revised: 21 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2111 KB, uploaded 5 August 2015]   |  


Drought stress in the field has been shown to exacerbate aflatoxin contamination of maize and peanut. Drought and heat stress also produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant tissues. Given the potential correlation between ROS and exacerbated aflatoxin production under drought and heat stress, the objectives of this study were to examine the effects of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative stress on the growth of different toxigenic (+) and atoxigenic (−) isolates of Aspergillus flavus and to test whether aflatoxin production affects the H2O2 concentrations that the isolates could survive. Ten isolates were tested: NRRL3357 (+), A9 (+), AF13 (+), Tox4 (+), A1 (−), K49 (−), K54A (−), AF36 (−), and Aflaguard (−); and one A. parasiticus isolate, NRRL2999 (+). These isolates were cultured under a H2O2 gradient ranging from 0 to 50 mM in two different media, aflatoxin-conducive yeast extract-sucrose (YES) and non-conducive yeast extract-peptone (YEP). Fungal growth was inhibited at a high H2O2 concentration, but specific isolates grew well at different H2O2 concentrations. Generally the toxigenic isolates tolerated higher concentrations than did atoxigenic isolates. Increasing H2O2 concentrations in the media resulted in elevated aflatoxin production in toxigenic isolates. In YEP media, the higher concentration of peptone (15%) partially inactivated the H2O2 in the media. In the 1% peptone media, YEP did not affect the H2O2 concentrations that the isolates could survive in comparison with YES media, without aflatoxin production. It is interesting to note that the commercial biocontrol isolates, AF36 (−), and Aflaguard (−), survived at higher levels of stress than other atoxigenic isolates, suggesting that this testing method could potentially be of use in the selection of biocontrol isolates. Further studies will be needed to investigate the mechanisms behind the variability among isolates with regard to their degree of oxidative stress tolerance and the role of aflatoxin production. View Full-Text
Keywords: aflatoxin; drought; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; biological controls; peptone aflatoxin; drought; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; biological controls; peptone

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fountain, J.C.; Scully, B.T.; Chen, Z.-Y.; Gold, S.E.; Glenn, A.E.; Abbas, H.K.; Lee, R.D.; Kemerait, R.C.; Guo, B. Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on Different Toxigenic and Atoxigenic Isolates of Aspergillus flavus. Toxins 2015, 7, 2985-2999.

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