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Article

Investigation of the Antifungal and Anti-Aflatoxigenic Potential of Plant-Based Essential Oils against Aspergillus flavus in Peanuts

1
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
2
Centre for Research in Biosciences, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
3
Amity Food and Agriculture Foundation, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Noida 201313, India
4
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
5
Department of Studies in Microbiology, University of Mysore, Mysore 570006, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040383
Received: 24 November 2020 / Revised: 17 December 2020 / Accepted: 17 December 2020 / Published: 21 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Different Antimycotoxin Strategies)
Aspergillus species are known to cause damage to food crops and are associated with opportunistic infections in humans. In the United States, significant losses have been reported in peanut production due to contamination caused by the Aspergillus species. This study evaluated the antifungal effect and anti-aflatoxin activity of selected plant-based essential oils (EOs) against Aspergillus flavus in contaminated peanuts, Tifguard, runner type variety. All fifteen essential oils, tested by the poisoned food technique, inhibited the growth of A. flavus at concentrations ranging between 125 and 4000 ppm. The most effective oils with total clearance of the A. flavus on agar were clove (500 ppm), thyme (1000 ppm), lemongrass, and cinnamon (2000 ppm) EOs. The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of clove EO revealed eugenol (83.25%) as a major bioactive constituent. An electron microscopy study revealed that clove EO at 500 ppm caused noticeable morphological and ultrastructural alterations of the somatic and reproductive structures. Using both the ammonia vapor (AV) and coconut milk agar (CMA) methods, we not only detected the presence of an aflatoxigenic form of A. flavus in our contaminated peanuts, but we also observed that aflatoxin production was inhibited by clove EO at concentrations between 500 and 2000 ppm. In addition, we established a correlation between the concentration of clove EO and AFB1 production by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We demonstrate in our study that clove oil could be a promising natural fungicide for an effective bio-control, non-toxic bio-preservative, and an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic additives against A. flavus in Georgia peanuts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aspergillus flavus; peanuts; essential oils; antifungal activity; aflatoxin Aspergillus flavus; peanuts; essential oils; antifungal activity; aflatoxin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Achar, P.N.; Quyen, P.; Adukwu, E.C.; Sharma, A.; Msimanga, H.Z.; Nagaraja, H.; Sreenivasa, M.Y. Investigation of the Antifungal and Anti-Aflatoxigenic Potential of Plant-Based Essential Oils against Aspergillus flavus in Peanuts. J. Fungi 2020, 6, 383. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040383

AMA Style

Achar PN, Quyen P, Adukwu EC, Sharma A, Msimanga HZ, Nagaraja H, Sreenivasa MY. Investigation of the Antifungal and Anti-Aflatoxigenic Potential of Plant-Based Essential Oils against Aspergillus flavus in Peanuts. Journal of Fungi. 2020; 6(4):383. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040383

Chicago/Turabian Style

Achar, Premila N., Pham Quyen, Emmanuel C. Adukwu, Abhishek Sharma, Huggins Z. Msimanga, Hanumanthu Nagaraja, and Marikunte Y. Sreenivasa. 2020. "Investigation of the Antifungal and Anti-Aflatoxigenic Potential of Plant-Based Essential Oils against Aspergillus flavus in Peanuts" Journal of Fungi 6, no. 4: 383. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040383

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