Biocontrol potential of native yeast strains against Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin production in pistachio

Mohammad Moradi, Maryam Rohani, Seyed Reza Fani, Mohammad Taghi Hamed Mosavian, Claudia Probst, Pejman Khodaygan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aspergillus flavus: is the main aflatoxin producer in food and feed and has wide ecological niches. Contamination of food products such as pistachio nuts and aflatoxin secretion directly affects food safety and international food product trades. Abilities of 13 yeast strains isolated from 200 soil and pistachio nut samples collected in Iranian orchards to reduce the growth of A. flavus as well as aflatoxin production were assessed in dual culture, volatile and non-volatile compounds tests. The growth of A. flavus was reduced by 32–60%, 13–31% and 40–61% in dual culture, volatile and non-volatile compounds, respectively, while aflatoxin B1 production was diminished by 90.6–98.3%. Based on these assays, five yeast strains were selected for co-inoculation experiments using soil, pistachio hulls and leaf. A significant reduction in colony-forming units (CFU) ranging from 23% to 110% (p < .05) was observed. Molecular, physiological and morphological identification revealed these were strains of Pichia kudriavzevii and Lachansea thermotolerans. Aflatoxin biocontrol with yeast strains possesses many advantages including the ease of commercial production and organic application which is an environmental approach. More investigation is required to understand the efficiency of selective strains to inhibit A. flavus and aflatoxin production as well as withstand predominant abiotic stress in pistachio orchards and mass production in field application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1963-1973
Number of pages11
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Biological control
  • food safety
  • interaction


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