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Diversity of Mycotoxin-Producing Black Aspergilli in Canadian Vineyards

Qi, T.F., Renaud, J.B., McDowell, T., Seifert, K.A., Yeung, K.K.C., Sumarah, M.W. (2016). Diversity of Mycotoxin-Producing Black Aspergilli in Canadian Vineyards, 64(7), 1583-1589.


© 2016 American Chemical Society. Several Aspergillus species produce ochratoxin A (OTA) and/or fumonisins on wine and table grapes. The relevant species and their mycotoxins have been investigated in a number of wine-producing regions around the world; however, similar data have not been reported for Canadian vineyards. A multiyear survey of black Aspergilli in Niagara, ON, vineyards was conducted to determine the diversity of species present and to assess the risk of OTA and fumonisin contamination of wine grapes from this region. From 2012 to 2014, 253 black Aspergilli were isolated from soil samples and the fruits of 10 varieties of grapes. The isolates were identified by DNA sequencing: Aspergillus welwitschiae (43%), Aspergillus uvarum (32%), Aspergillus brasiliensis (11%), Aspergillus tubingensis (9%), and Aspergillus niger (4%). Aspergillus carbonarius, the primary OTA producer on grapes in other parts of the world, was isolated only once, and this is the first report for it in Canada. All 10 A. niger strains produced fumonisins, but, in contrast, only 26% of the 109 A. welwitschiae isolates were producers, and no strains of either species produced OTA. Grape samples were analyzed for OTA and fumonisins from sites where strains with mycotoxigenic potential were isolated. Fumonisin B2 (FB2) was detected in 7 of 22 (32%) of these grape samples in the 1-15 ppb range, but no OTA was detected. Additionally, the recently reported nonaminated fumonisins were detected in 3 of 22 grape samples. These results suggest that fumonisin-producing Aspergilli can occur in Ontario vineyards but, at present, the risk of contamination of grapes appears low. The risk of OTA contamination in Niagara wine is also low because of the low prevalence of A. carbonarius.

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