Detection of Mycoflora and Aflatoxin B1 in the Seeds of Inodorous Melons (Cucumis melo L.)


  • Summiaya RAHIM Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270
  • Shahnaz DAWAR Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270
  • Muhammad AZEEM Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270


Aflatoxins, ELISA, inodorous melons, ISTA techniques, seed-borne mycoflora


Twenty-two seed samples of inodorous melons, collected from the areas of Peshawar, Swabi, Tordher, Fatu-chuk, Mardan, Karachi, Islamabad, Ghotki, and Mandibahauddin, yielded 75 species of 36 fungal genera, isolated through ISTA (International Seed Testing Association) techniques. The agar plate method was chosen as being best for the qualitative and quantitative isolation of fungi, followed by the standard blotter method. The agar plate method yielded 64 species of 29 genera, while the blotter method yielded 24 species belonging to 14 genera. The deep-freezing method yielded only 2 species belonging to 2 genera. Aspergillus niger, followed by A. flavus, Chaetomium globosum, and Rhizopus stolonifer were the most dominant fungi in all 3 methods used. Forty species belonging to 25 genera had not been previously reported from Pakistan. Seven seed samples, which were highly infected with fungi, were grown in test tube slants, included samples from Tordher (1), Ghotki (1), Mandibahauddin (1), Karachi (2), Islamabad (1), and Fatu-chuk (1). Aspergillus flavus was the most dominant fungi, causing pre-emergence rot of seedlings. Fusarium oxysporum caused 3.6 % of seedling deaths after 10 - 12 days of incubation. Seed samples from Islamabad, Mandibahauddin, and Swabi were highly infected with A. flavus. The level of aflatoxin B1 estimated through CD-ELISA for the 3 samples was 32.64 ppb (Swabi), 11.48 ppb (Islamabad), and 7.30 ppb (Mandibahauddin), respectively, of which the seed sample from Swabi contained the highest level of aflatoxins. Surface sterilization of seeds with 1 % Calcium hypochlorite (Ca (OCl)2)greatlyreduced the incidence of both saprophytic and superficial pathogenic fungi.



Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Summiaya RAHIM, Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270

Department of Botany.

field of specialization : plant pathology

PHD research fellow.


AL Snowdon. Post- harvest Diseases and Disorders of Fruits & Vegetables. Manson Publication, UK, 2010, p. 270-8.

C Nardozzi. Vegetable Gardening for Dummies. 2nd ed. Wiley Publication Indiana, 2009.

L Alden. Melons. The Cook’s Thesaurus, Available at:, accessed January 2014.

S Ashworth. Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for the Vegetables Gardener. Seed Savers Exchange Library of Congress, USA, 2000, p. 97-124.

JG Vaughan and C Geissler. The New Oxford Book of Plants. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 1-134.

Anonymous. Growing Melons. University of Nebraska, Lincoln Extension, 2013.

G Mateljan. The World’s Healthiest Foods Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. 1st ed. World’s Healthiest Foods, 2007.

FAOSTAT. Food and Agriculture Organization Statistics. Crops Production Data, 2012.

MN Malik, E Bashir and R Bantel. Horticulture. National Book Foundation, Islamabad, 1994, p. 1-633.

United States Department of Agriculture Nutrition Database for Standard Reference, 2013.

G Mateljan. The World’s Healthiest Foods Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. World’s Healthiest Foods, 2014. Available at: genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=17, accessed January 2014.

B Tadayyon. The Miracle of Nuts, Seeds and Grains. Library of Congress, 2013, p. 1-87.

SK Sharma. Food for Good Health. Diamond Pocket Book (pvt.), India, 2003, p. 1-225.

PN Ravindran and KJ Madhusoodanan. Cardamom: The Genus Elettaria. Taylor and Francis, London, 2003, p. 1-325.

J Moody and W Foster. Jewelry Making. Walter Foster Publishing, CA, 1998, p. 1-32.

J Redhead. Utilization of Tropical Foods: Tropical Oil-Seeds. FAO: Food and Nutrition Paper. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, 1989, p. 73-5.

SS Deshpande, DK Salunkhe, OB Oyewole, SA Ali, M Battcock and R Bressani. Fermented Grain Legumes Seeds and Nuts: A Global Perspective. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin, 2000, p. 42-3.

NV Chiejina. Studies on the seed-borne pathogens of some Nigerian melons. J. Agr. Food Environ. Ext. 2006; 5, 13-6.

P Neergaard. Seed Pathology. Vol. I. Macmillan Press, London, 1977, p. 1-839.

BJ Aegerter, TR Gordon and RM Davis. Occurrence and pathogenicity of fungi associated with melon root rot and vine decline in California. Plant Dis. 2000; 84, 224-30.

X Xiangming, JA Bailey and BM Cooke. Epidemiology of Mycotoxin Producing Fungi. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 2003, p. 1-778.

GJ Jimenez, J Armengol, R Sales, C Jorda and BD Bruton. Fungal pathogens associated with melon collapse in Spain. EPPO Bulletin 2000; 30, 169-73.

A Ekundaya and E Idzi. Mycoflora and nutritional value of shelled melon seeds (Citrulus vulgaris schrad.) in Nigeria. Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 1990; 40, 251-22.

SA Bankole, B Ikotun and EJA Ekpo. Fungal deterioration of melon seeds stored in jute sacks and polyethylene bags in Ago-Iwoye, South western Nigeria. Mycopathologia 1999; 146, 135-46.

SA Bankole, BM Ogunsanwo and OO Mabekoje. Natural occurrence of moulds and Aflatoxins B1 in melon seeds from markets in Nigeria. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2004; 42, 1309-14.

SA Bankole. Moisture content, mould invasion and seed germinability of stored melon. Mycopathologia 1993; 122, 123-6.

N Fatima, H Batool, V Sultana, J Ara and SE Haque. Prevalance of post-harvest rot of vegetables and fruits in Karachi, Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot. 2009; 41, 3185-90.

I Ahmad , S Iftikhar and AR Bhutta. Seed Borne Micro Organisms in Pakistan: Check List 1991. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, 1993, p. 1-32.

Anonymous. Poultry International Production. Processing and Marketing World Wide, 1991, p. 42-4.

I Niaz, S Dawar and N Sahar. Detection of mycotoxins in maize seed samples. Pak. J. Bot. 2012; 44, 1075-8.

Anonymous . International rules for seed health testing. Seed Sci. Tech. 1993; 21, 1-288.

MN Khare, SB Mathur and P Neergaard. A seedling symptom test for the detection of Septoria nodorum in wheat seeds. Seed Sci. Tech. 1977; 5, 613-7.

L Stoloff, HP van Egmond and DL Park. Rationales for the establishment of limits and regulations for mycotoxins. Food Addit. Contam. 1991; 8, 213-22.

HL Barnett and BB Hunter. Illustrated Genera of Imperfect Fungi. 4th ed. St. Paul, APS Press, Minnesota, 1998, p. 1-218.

Anonymous. Veratox Software for Windows, Version 2, 0, II. Technology, Palm City, FL, 2000.

C Booth. The Genus Fusarium. CMI, Kew, Surrey, England, 1971, p. 1-237.

KH Domsch, W Gams and TH Anderson. Compendium of Soil Fungi. Vol. I. Academic Press, London, 1980, p. 1-859.

MB Ellis. Dematiaceous Hyphomycetes. CMI, Kew, Surrey, UK, 1971, p. 1-608.

JC Gilman. A Manual of Soil Fungi. Ames, The Iowa State College Press, Iowa, 1950, p. 1-392.

RT Hanlin. Illustrated Genera of Ascomycetes. St. Paul, APS Press, Minnesota, 1989, p. 1-263.

PE Nelson, TA Toussoun and WFO Marasas. Fusarium Species. An Illustrated Manual of Identification. University Park, The State University Press, Pennsylvania, 1983, p. 1-193.

Mycobank. Fungal Databases Nomenclature and Species Banks, Available at:, accessed March 2013.

KB Raper, DI Fennell and PKC Austwick. The Genus Aspergillus. William & Wilkins Company, Baltimore, 1965, p. 1-686.

KA Gomez and AA Gomez. Statistical Procedures in Agricultural Research. 2nd ed. Wiley, New York, 1984, p. 1-680.

RR Sokal and FJ Rohlf. Introduction to Biostatistics. 2nd ed. Dover Publication, Mineola, New York, USA, 2009, p. 1-363.

S Rahim, S Dawar, M Tariq and MJ Zaki. Mycoflora associated with the seed samples of Cucurbita pepo L. collected from Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot. 2013; 45, 2173-9.

S Rahim and S Dawar. Isolation of deep-seated fungi from Lens culinaris L. (Lentil) seeds collected from Pakistan. Int. J. Biol. Biotech. 2012; 9, 313-6.

S Rahim, S Dawar and M Tariq. Mycoflora associated with lentils (Lens culinaris L.) seeds of Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot. 2010; 42, 4345-52.

I Niaz and S Dawar. Detection of seed borne mycoflora in maize (Zea mays L.). Pak. J. Bot. 2009; 41, 443-51.

DB Sauer and R Burroughs. Disinfection of seeds with sodium hypochlorite. Phytopathology 1986, 76, 745-9.

JK Wilson. Calcium hypochlorite as a seed sterilizer. Am. J. Bot. 1915; 2, 420-7.

MA Elwakil and MA El-Metwally. Seed-borne fungi of peanut in Egypt: Pathogenicity and Transmission. Pak. J. Biol. Sci. 2001; 4, 63-8.

DH Lee, SB Mathur and P Neergaard. Detection and location of seed-borne inoculum of Didymella bryoniae and its transmission in seedlings of cucumber and pumpkin. J. Phytopathology 2008; 109, 301-8.

JW Bennett and M Klich. Mycotoxins. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2003; 16, 497-516.

DG Schmale and GP Munkvold. Mycotoxins in Crops: A Threat to Human and Domestic Animal Health, Available at:, accessed January 2015.

M Mushtaq, B Sultana, F Anwar, MZ Khan and MA Zaman. Occurrence of aflatoxin in selected processed foods from Pakistan. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012; 13, 8324-37.

N Rashid, MA Bajwa, M Rafeeq, MA Khan, Z Ahmad, MM Tariq, A Wadood and F Abbas. Prevelance of Aflatoxin B1 in finished commercial broiler feed from central Pakistan. J. Anim. Plant Sci. 2012; 22, 6-10.

P Narayanasamy. Postharvest Pathogens and Disease Management. John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2006, p. 1-258.




How to Cite

RAHIM, S., DAWAR, S., & AZEEM, M. (2015). Detection of Mycoflora and Aflatoxin B1 in the Seeds of Inodorous Melons (Cucumis melo L.). Walailak Journal of Science and Technology (WJST), 13(1), 23–33. Retrieved from



Research Article