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Occurrence of Mycotoxins and Toxigenic Fungi in Cereals and Application of Yeast Volatiles for Their Biological Control

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journal contribution
submitted on 2024-06-24, 12:24 and posted on 2024-06-24, 12:25 authored by Asma Alkuwari, Zahoor Ul Hassan, Randa Zeidan, Roda Al-Thani, Samir Jaoua

Fungal infections in cereals lead to huge economic losses in the food and agriculture industries. This study was designed to investigate the occurrence of toxigenic fungi and their mycotoxins in marketed cereals and explore the effect of the antagonistic yeast Cyberlindnera jadinii volatiles against key toxigenic fungal strains. Aspergillus spp. were the most frequent contaminating fungi in the cereals, with an isolation frequency (Fr) of 100% in maize, followed by wheat (88.23%), rice (78.57%) and oats (14.28%). Morphological and molecular identification confirmed the presence of key toxigenic fungal strains in cereal samples, including A. carbonarius, A. flavus, A. niger, A. ochraceus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxins (AFs) were detected in all types of tested cereal samples, with a significantly higher level in maize compared to wheat, rice, oats and breakfast cereals. Ochratoxin A (OTA) was only detected in wheat, rice and maize samples. Levels of mycotoxins in cereals were within EU permissible limits. The volatiles of Cyberlindnera jadinii significantly inhibited the growth of A. parasiticus, A. niger and P. verrucosum. The findings of this study confirm the presence of toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins in cereals within the EU permissible limits and the significant biocontrol ability of Cyberlindnera jadinii against these toxigenic fungi.

Other Information

Published in: Toxins
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Qatar National Research Fund (NPRP8-392-4-003), “MYCOSAFE 2.0 - Monitoring, prevention and control of mycotoxin contamination in Qatar”.

Qatar University (QUST-1-CAS-2018-45).



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Arts and Sciences - QU