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Production of Bright Greenish Yellow Fluorescence in Figs Infected by Aspergillus Species in California Orchards

June 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  6
Pages  669 - 673

Mark A. Doster and Themis J. Michailides , Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis and Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier 93648

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Accepted for publication 2 March 1998.

The relationship of bright greenish yellow fluorescence (BGYF) of dried figs under longwave UV light to colonization by Aspergillus fungi was determined. BGYF in naturally infected figs was associated with decay by only four fungal species: the aflatoxin-producing species Aspergillus flavus (both L and S strains) and A. parasiticus, and the aflatoxin nonproducers A. tamarii and A. alliaceus. BGYF was more likely to be visible internally (after cutting open the fig) than externally. For all four species associated with BGYF, some infected figs did not show BGYF. The absence of fluorescence is probably not associated with the fungal strain or isolate involved, since isolating Aspergillus spp. from nonfluorescent figs followed by inoculating other figs with these isolates resulted in BGYF. Many of the nonfluorescent figs had small fungal colonies (<7 mm in diameter), even though some figs with large colonies were also nonfluorescent. The additional colonization of figs by other fungi did not affect the occurrence of BGYF in figs colonized by fungi in Aspergillus section Flavi. Figs infected with A. flavus or A. parasiticus and showing no BGYF were occasionally contaminated with aflatoxin, while other figs showing BGYF and infected with A. flavus or A. tamarii had no aflatoxins. Although not as promising as originally hoped, BGYF might be of use to remove aflatoxin-contaminated figs for certain specific situations in California.

Additional keywords: Aspergillus nomius, Ficus carica, kojic acid

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society