Al-Gabr HM, Ye C, Zhang Y, Khan S, Lin H, Zheng T. Effects of carbon, nitrogen and pH on the growth of Aspergillus parasiticus and aflatoxins production in water. J Environ Biol. 2013 Apr;34(2 Spec No):353-8.
Mycotoxins are considered as the most hazardous fungal metabolites for human, animals and plant health. Recently, more attention has been paid on the occurrence of this group of fungi in different water sources throughout the globe. In this study, Aspergillus parasiticus ATCC strain was used as representative strain producing aflatoxins in drinking water. This study aimed to investigate the activation of fungi in drinking water and their ability to produce aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, and G2) in water under different ratios of C:N using different concentrations of total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN). Glucose and ammonium sulphate were used for changing the levels of TOC and TN in the selected water media. Similarly, the effects of different water pH levels from 4.5 to 8.2 on the growth of this group of fungi and aflatoxins production were also investigated. The results indicate that the growth of fungi was highest, at C:N ratio of 1:1 as compared to other selected ratios. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the pH levels 5.5-6.5 showed best growth of fungi as compared to other pH levels. Aflatoxin concentrations were measured in the water samples using HPLC technique, but selected fungi were not able to produce aflatoxins in water at applied concentrations of TOC and TN mimicking the ratios and concentrations present in the natural aquatic environment.