Authors:Cs. Dobolyi, F. Sebők, J. Varga, S. Kocsubé, G. Szigeti, N. Baranyi, Á. Szécsi, B. Tóth, M. Varga, B. Kriszt, S. Szoboszlay, C. Krifaton, and J. Kukolya
Climate change affects the occurrence of fungi and their mycotoxins in foods and feeds. A shift has recently been observed in the presence of aflatoxin producer Aspergillus spp. in Europe, with consequent aflatoxin contamination in agricultural commodities including maize in several European countries that have not faced with this problem before, including, e.g. Northern Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania. Although aflatoxin contamination of agricultural products including maize is not treated as a serious threat to Hungarian agriculture due to climatic conditions, these observations led us to examine the mycobiota of maize kernels collected from Hungarian maize fields. Using a calmodulin sequence-based approach, A. flavus isolates have been identified in 63.5% of the maize fields examined in 2009 and 2010, and 18.8% of these isolates were found to be able to produce aflatoxins above 5 μg kg−1 on maize kernels as determined by ELISA, HPLC-FL, HPLC-MS analyses and SOS-Chromotest. These data indicate that aflatoxin producing Aspergilli are present in Hungarian agricultural fields, consequently climate change with elevated temperatures could lead to aflatoxin contamination of Hungarian agricultural products, too.