Production of mycotoxins by filamentous fungi in untreated surface water
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Several research studies reported that mycotoxins and other metabolites can be produced by fungi in certain matrices such as food. In recent years, attention has been drawn to the wide occurrence and identification of fungi in drinking water sources. Due to the large demand of water for drinking, watering, or food production purposes, it is imperative that further research is conducted to investigate if mycotoxins may be produced in water matrices. This paper describes the results obtained when a validated analytical method was applied to detect and quantify the presence of mycotoxins as a result of fungi inoculation and growth in untreated surface water. Aflatoxins B1 and B2, fumonisin B3, and ochratoxin A were detected at concentrations up to 35 ng/L. These results show that fungi can produce mycotoxins in water matrices in a non-negligible quantity and, as such, attention must be given to the presence of fungi in water.
KeywordsFilamentous fungi Untreated surface water Mycotoxin production SPE-LC-MS/MS method
We thank Empresa Portuguesa das Águas Livres (EPAL) for supplying the real water matrices where the fungi were spiked. The authors also thank Dr. José María Navas and Dr. Beate Escher for the yeast strain used in the YES assay and Dr. Benjamin Stanford for his help implementing the method. Vanessa J. Pereira thanks the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University for hosting her as a Visiting Scholar during the fall 2016.
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