Aflatoxin Production among Almond Genotypes Is Not Related to Either Kernel Oil Composition or Aspergillus flavus Growth Rate

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  • 1 Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA 94710
  • | 3 Department of Horticulture, Assuit University, Assuit, Egypt

Genetic differences were observed in levels of aflatoxin production following controlled inoculations of California almonds [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb, syn. P. amygdalus, Batsch.; P. communis (L.) Arcangeli, non Huds.]. Genetic variation was also observed in kernel oil composition, and in susceptibility to Aspergillus flavus Speare as indicated by rate of mold expansion on the surface of cut kernels. Several almond lines resulting from the introgression of peach [P. persica (L.) Batsch] germplasm had very low aflatoxin levels relative to commercial cultivars tested. Peach-derived almond breeding lines and cultivars also produced some of the highest oil quality as determined by the proportion of oleic acid, and by the oleic to linoleic acid balance. The proportion of linoleic acid to total oil ranged from 16% to almost 30%. No correlations were detected between aflatoxin production in inoculated almond kernels and either kernel oil composition or mold growth rate on injured kernel tissue.

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