Fungi isolated from maize (Zea mays L.) grain in Lithuania

  • Aurimas Krasauskas
Keywords: maize, grain, fungi, contamination, mycotoxins


The aim of this work was to investigate contamination levels of maize grain by fungi propagules and composition of fungi species. The objects of investigation were maize grain taken in Lithuania, 5 different fields of private farms in the Vilkaviškis District, in 2016 and 2017. Grain samples were taken directly from the field before harvesting at the end of October (Phenological growth stage BBCH 97). Moisture of the samples was measured by a mobile hygrometer Wile 55. Quantitative grain contamination by fungal propagules (fungal propagules = cfu = colony forming unit) was determined by a dilution method. Serial decimal dilutions up to 10−3 were made and 0.1 ml aliquots were inoculated in triplicate onto the Sabouraud glucose agar medium with chloramfenicol (0.5 g l–1). Results of this study showed that the moisture content in the grain varied from 21.5 to 32.3%. Due to late ripening and unfavourable meteorological conditions the contamination of grain by fungi propagules ranged from 9.5 to 33.2 cfu g–3. Fungi were identified according to morphological and microscopic characteristics. A total of 8 different fungal genera (Absidia spp., Aspergillus spp. Alternaria spp., Cladosporium spp., Epicoccum spp., Fusarium spp., Mortierella spp., Penicillium spp.) and 14 species were identified in total. Fungi of Alternaria and Fusarium genera were prevailing.