Incidence of Mycoflora in Spices

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Incidence of Mycoflora in Spices

Incidence of mycoflora associated with some spices Hedawoo GB Mishra SA and Maggirwar RC


Black pepper fennel and cumin are extensively used as spices in India Seed pathogens adversely affect the production and quality of spices The mycoflora associated with spices not only deteriorate the quality of spices but also increase the chance of consuming toxic elements through harmful fungi like Aspergilli The present investigation deals with the isolation and identification of the fungi associated with the spices The mycoflora of test spices was screened by agar plate method and percent incidence of individual fungus was recorded Twelve fungal species were found on seeds of black pepper eleven on fennel and eight on cumin Total fifteen fungal species were found to be associated with the seeds of three test spices viz Alternaria alternata Aspergillus flavus A fumigatus A nidulans A niger Chaetomium globosum Cladosporium cladosporioidis Curvularia lunata Fusarium moniliforme Helminthosporium tetramera Mucor variance Penicillium chrysogenum Rhizopus nigricans Syncephalastrum racemosum and Torula herbarum Five fungal species viz Aspergillus flavus A fumigatus A niger Rhizopus nigricans and Cladosporium cladosporioidis were common and dominant seed fungi on all three test spices Maximum 2300 and minimum 30 percent incidence was reported of Aspergillus niger and Chaetomium globosum on the seeds of cumin and black pepper respectively

Key words Spices mycoflora percent incidence


Spices are valued for their distinctive flavours colours and aromas and are among the most versatile and widely used ingredient in food preparation and processing India is the largest spice producing country in the world About 63 different spices are cultivated in the country Divakar and Sharma 2001 Seedborne pathogens present externally or internally or associated with the seed as contaminant may cause seed abortion seed rot seed necrosis reduction or complete inhibition of germination as well as seedling damage resulting in development of disease at later stages of plant growth by systemic or local infection Khanzada etal 2002

Literature on seed mycoflora of spices was revealed and observed by several workers Srivastava and Chandra 1985 studied the mycobiota of coriander cumin fennel and fenugreek in India and reported that Aspergillus followed by Fusarium were the most frequent members Hashmi 1988 reported 20 genera and 46 species of seed borne fungi on seeds of spices in Pakistan Rani etal 1995 Jain and Jain 1995 Seema and Basu 2003 Bokhari 2007 Sumanth et al 2010 Plant 2011 Hedawoo and Chakranarayan 2011 and Ramesh and Jayagoudar 2013 also studied the seed mycoflora of different spices

Materials and Methods

Samples of Piper nigrum L Black pepper Foeniculum vulgare Mill Fennel and Cuminum cyminum L Cumin were collected from markets and stockists of Amravati District Samples of each spice was mixed individually and prepared a composite sample of each variety as the method described by Neergaard 1973 For the study of seed mycoflora Agar Plate Method APM was implemented as recommended by ISTA 1966 on PDA medium Results were recorded after eight days of incubation Incubated seeds were observed under stereozoom microscope and colony fungal characters were recorded Number of colonies of each fungus was counted and percent incidence of each fungus was calculated The identification of seed mycoflora was done by referring authentic relevant literature Subramanian 1971 Barnett and Hunter 1972 Neergaard 1977 Gilman2001 Jamaluddin et al 2004 Nagmani et al 2006 Mukadam etal2006 Isolated fungal cultures maintained on Czapeks Dox agar nutrient medium

Table1 List of isolated fungi and their incidence on seeds of different spices

Sr No

Fungi isolated

Black pepper





Alternaria alternata




Aspergillus flavus





A fumigat

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