Molecular Characterization of Natural Fungal Flora in Black Olives: From Field to Table

Nisa Ozsoy, Hilal Ozkilinc, Cigdem Uysal Pala


In this study, molecular markers were used to determine fungal flora in black olive fruits from field surveys to the table, following the fermentation process. Field samples were collected from different locations of Canakkale province, including Gokceada (Imbros), where organic farming is employed. Some of the fruits from field samples were used for black table olive production and then fungal flora was tracked during the fermentation process. Fungal isolation was also conducted on some commercial samples. Fifty seven isolates from field samples, 56 isolates from the fermentation process and 17 isolates from commercial products were obtained. Among these isolates, 41 Alternaria, 43 Penicillium, 19 Aspergillus, 8 Monascus and 19 other genera were determined using amplified sizes of the Beta-tubulin gene region. Species level identification was carried out based on sequences of Beta-tubulin amplicons, which provided accurate identification, especially where the genera were morphologically highly similar. The occurrence and prevalence of fungal species changed in fungal collections from the field to the fermentation process. While Alternaria alternata was common in field samples, they were absent during fermentation. Many of these identified species, such as Penicillium expansum, Aspergillus niger and Monascus pilosus, which are known as potential toxin producers such as aflatoxin, ochratoxin A and citrinin, were found both in natural and fermented samples, even at the end of the fermentation process. These results showed that some fungal species which survive on olives from the field to the table are potential toxin producers and can be successfully characterized by amplification and sequencing of Beta-tubulin gene.


Olive; Fungus; Molecular identification; Beta-tubulin; Fermentation process

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ISSN: 2148-127X

Turkish JAF Sci.Tech.

Turkish Journal of Agriculture - Food Science and Technology (TURJAF) is indexed by the following national and international scientific indexing services: