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Agriculture 2017, 7(10), 80; doi:10.3390/agriculture7100080

Morphological Characterization and Determination of Aflatoxin-Production Potentials of Aspergillus flavus Isolated from Maize and Soil in Kenya

1
Department of Biotechnology, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark 1911, South Africa
2
Department of Horticulture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P.O. Box 62000-00200, Juja 0561, Kenya
3
AMBIO Environmental Management, Department of Biotechnology, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark 1911, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract

This study aimed at morphologically identifying Aspergillus flavus in soil and maize and at determining their aflatoxin-producing potentials. Five hundred and fourteen isolates obtained from maize and soil in Kenya were cultivated on Czapeck Dox Agar, Malt Extract Agar, Sabouraud Dextrose Agar, Potato Dextrose Agar, and Rose-Bengal Chloramphenicol Agar. Isolates were identified using macro-morphological characteristics. Micromorphological characteristics were determined using slide cultures. Aflatoxin production was determined by direct visual determination of the UV fluorescence of colonies on Coconut Agar Medium, Yeast Extract Sucrose agar, and Yeast Extract Cyclodextrin Sodium Deoxycholate agar and by Thin Layer Chromatography. Forty-three presumptive A. flavus isolates were identified; aflatoxin was detected in 23% of the isolates by UV fluorescence screening and in 30% by Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC). The aflatoxins produced were: aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), and aflatoxin G1 (AFG1); some isolates produced only AFB1, whereas others produced either AFB1 and AFB2 or AFB1 and AFG1. The highest incidence of A. flavus (63%) and aflatoxin production (28%) was recorded in samples from Makueni District. Isolates from Uasin Gishu (21%) and Nyeri (5%) were non-aflatoxigenic. Bungoma District recorded 11% positive isolates of which 2% were aflatoxin producers. The occurrence of aflatoxin-producing A. flavus emphasises the need for measures to eliminate their presence in food crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aflatoxins; Aspergillus flavus; morphological characterization; Thin Layer Chromatography; UV Fluorescence Aflatoxins; Aspergillus flavus; morphological characterization; Thin Layer Chromatography; UV Fluorescence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thathana, M.G.; Murage, H.; Abia, A.L.K.; Pillay, M. Morphological Characterization and Determination of Aflatoxin-Production Potentials of Aspergillus flavus Isolated from Maize and Soil in Kenya. Agriculture 2017, 7, 80.

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