A REVIEW ON THE EFFECT OF FUNGI ON THE WHEAT GRAIN UNDER POST HARVEST STORAGE ECOLOGY

Mathew SHIJU

Abstract

The review paper is aimed to assess the effect of fungi on the wheat grain under the post harvest storage system. It has been observed that very high percentage of wheat kernels has been lost under post harvest storage. The grain quality greatly depends upon the storage conditions. The storage requirement violation can result in grain deterioration. The biotic and abiotic factors influence the various physical and chemical properties of wheat grains under post harvest storage. The fungal ecology present in the stored grain has an important role in spoilage and the production of mycotoxins. The mycoflora of stored wheat grains predominantly consisted of ubiquitous mould genera Aspergillus, Alternaria, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Rhizopus and Penicillium possibly because of their omnipresence, capacity to grow on all possible substrates and a wide range of temperature and humidity. The most frequent species observed on the stored wheat grains of Aspergillus were A. niger, A. fumigatus, Alternaria alternata, Fusarium moniliformis, Rhizopus arrhizus and a few Pencillium species. Among these almost all have the capacity to produce mycotoxin which can contaminate and cause spoilage. The various physical, microbial and biochemical analyses of post harvest storage wheat grain is an essential component to evaluate the grain quality in various Indian wheat varieties and also important for facilitating the minimal post harvest food grain loss.

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