Assessment of intraspecies variability in fungal growth initiation of Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin B1 production under static and changing temperature levels using different initial conidial inoculum levels
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Intraspecies variability in fungal growth and mycotoxin production has important implications for food safety. Using the Bioscreen C we have examined spectrophotometrically intraspecies variability of A. flavus using 10 isolates under different environments, including temperature shifts, in terms of growth and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production. Five high and five low AFB1 producers were examined. The study was conducted at 5 isothermal conditions (from 15 to 37 °C) and 4 dynamic scenarios (between 15 and 30 °C). The experiments were carried out in a semisolid YES medium at 0.92 aw and two inoculum levels, 102 and 103 spores/mL. The Time to Detection (TTD) of growth initiation was determined and modelled as a function of temperature through a polynomial equation and the model was used to predict TTD under temperature upshifts conditions using a novel approach. The results obtained in this study have shown that a model can be developed to describe the effect of temperature upshifts on the TTD for all the studied isolates and inoculum levels. Isolate variability increased as the growth conditions became more stressful and with a lower inoculum level. Inoculum level affected the intraspecies variability but not the repeatability of the experiments. In dynamic conditions, isolate responses depended both on the temperature shift and, predominantly, the final temperature level. AFB1 production was highly variable among the isolates and greatly depended on temperature (optimum temperature at 30-35 °C) and inoculum levels, with often higher production with lower inoculum. This suggests that, from an ecological point of view, the potential isolate variability and interaction with dynamic conditions should be taken into account in developing strategies to control growth and predicting mycotoxin risks by mycotoxigenic fungi.
Is part ofInternational Journal of Food Microbiology, 2018, vol. 272, p. 1-11
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