Requirement of Ca2+ for aflatoxin production: inhibitory effect of Ca2+ channel blockers on aflatoxin production by Aspergillus parasiticus NRRL 2999

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Aflatoxin production by Aspergillus parasiticus NRRL 2999 was inhibited when Ca2+ channel blockers, i.e. verapamil and diltiazem (> 1 mmol l−1), were included in the culture medium. Inhibition was not accompanied by growth inhibition, nor was the [14C]-glucose uptake by the organism altered. However, both the compounds inhibited [14C]-acetate incorporation into aflatoxin B1 in a dose-dependent manner and decreased sporulation of the organism. Even though a nutritional role for Ca2+ has not been demonstrated unequivocally in fungi, the present study suggests the importance of Ca2+ in the production of these secondary metabolites.

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