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  • 1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Nature and Life, Mohamed Tahri University, BP 417. 08000, Bechar, Algeria
  • 2 Laboratory of the Valorization of Plant Resources and Food Security in Semi-arid Areas of South West Algeria, Bechar, Algeria
  • 3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Nature and life, Mustapha Stambouli University, BP 305 Road of Mamounia, 29000, Mascara, Algeria
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Wheat and its derivatives are a main staple food for the Algerian populations. The objective of this study aims to analyze local and imported wheat grains for fungi particularly Fusarium graminearum chemotype DON and evaluate deoxynivalenol (DON) contaminated wheat collected from Bechar region, in south-western Algeria. A total of 64 of wheat samples were examined for fungal contamination and fungal load was determined by means of standard microbiological method. DON was detected using the ELISA technique. The results revealed that 98.44% of analyzed samples showed positive results regarding fungal contamination. More precisely, local wheat was dominated by Aspergillus and Penicillium and imported wheat was dominated by Fusarium, Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Results showed that 62.5% of F. graminearum strains produced DON. Contamination levels of wheat with DON ranging from <0.04 ppm to >5ppm for soft wheat and from <0.12ppm to >15ppm for durum wheat. So, 62.96% of soft wheat grains and 55.56% of durum wheat imported from France, and also 18.18% of local durum wheat exceed the permissible limit by far. This study provides basic grounds in assessing the degree of fungal and potential DON contamination in Algerian wheat.

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