is a common filamentous fungus widely present in the soil, air, and in crops. This facultative pathogen of both animals and plants produces aflatoxins, a group of mycotoxins with strong teratogenic and carcinogenic properties. Peanuts are highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination and consumption of contaminated peanuts poses serious threats to the health of humans and domestic animals. Currently, the competitive displacement of aflatoxin-producers from agricultural environments by atoxigenic A. flavus
is the most effective method of preventing crop aflatoxin contamination. In the current study, 47 isolates of A. flavus
collected from peanut samples originating in Shandong Province were characterized with molecular methods and for aflatoxin-producing ability in laboratory studies. Isolates PA04 and PA10 were found to be atoxigenic members of the L strains morphotype. When co-inoculated with A. flavus
NRRL3357 at ratios of 1:10, 1:1, and 10:1 (PA04/PA10: NRRL3357), both atoxigenic strains were able to reduce aflatoxin B1
) levels, on both culture media and peanut kernels, by up to 90%. The extent to which atoxigenic strains reduced contamination was correlated with the inoculation ratio. Abilities to compete of PA04 and PA10 were also independently verified against local aflatoxin-producer PA37. The results suggest that the two identified atoxigenic strains are good candidates for active ingredients of biocontrol products for the prevention of aflatoxin contamination of peanuts in Shandong Province.
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