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Identification and Toxigenic Potential of Fungi Isolated from Capsicum Peppers

1
Department of Botany, University of Lagos, Akoka 100213, Lagos, Nigeria
2
Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Legon-Accra, Ghana
3
Department of Food Quality and Safety, Institute for Postharvest and Food Sciences, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(9), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7090303
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 23 August 2019 / Accepted: 26 August 2019 / Published: 30 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interplay between Fungal Pathogens and Harvested Crops)
Capsicum peppers are among the most popular horticultural crops produced and consumed worldwide. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of spoilage fungi responsible for post-harvest losses in the most common varieties of Capsicum peppers collected from retail markets in Nigeria and Ghana. Forty fungal isolates belonging to 7 families, 8 genera, and 17 species were identified on the basis of morphology, culture characteristics, and DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Aspergillus spp. (42.5%), Fusarium spp. (22.5%), and Colletotrichum spp. (15%) were found to be the predominant fungal pathogens. Furthermore, potential ability of the isolated mycotoxigenic fungi to produce some major mycotoxins was analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Among the 22 isolates analyzed, 11 strains belonging to the genera of Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium were found to be able to produce mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin B1, gliotoxin, deoxynivalenol, and citrinin. A better understanding of the role of fungal contaminants in pepper fruits, especially the prevalence of mycotoxigenic fungi and their associated mycotoxigenic potential, will assist in the development of management strategies to control mycotoxin contamination and to reduce toxicological risks related to pepper consumption by humans and animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: pepper; spoilage fungi; mycotoxins; HPLC pepper; spoilage fungi; mycotoxins; HPLC
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Frimpong, G.K.; Adekunle, A.A.; Ogundipe, O.T.; Solanki, M.K.; Sadhasivam, S.; Sionov, E. Identification and Toxigenic Potential of Fungi Isolated from Capsicum Peppers. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 303.

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