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J Environ Sci Health B. 2011;46(7):623-9. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2011.589322.

Mycobiota and mycotoxins in bee pollen collected from different areas of Slovakia.

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Department of Microbiology, Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra.


Contamination by microscopic fungi and mycotoxins in different bee pollen samples, which were stored under three different ways of storing as freezing, drying and UV radiation, was investigated. During spring 2009, 45 samples of bee-collected pollen were gathered from beekeepers who placed their bee colonies on monocultures of sunflower, rape and poppy fields within their flying distance. Bee pollen was collected from bees' legs by special devices placed at the entrance to hives. Samples were examined for the concentration and identification of microscopic fungi able to grow on Malt and Czapek-Dox agar and mycotoxins content [deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), zearalenone (ZON) and total aflatoxins (AFL), fumonisins (FUM), ochratoxins (OTA)] by direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The total number of microscopic fungi in this study ranged from 2.98 ± 0.02 in frozen sunflower bee pollen to 4.06 ± 0.10 log cfu.g(-1) in sunflower bee pollen after UV radiation. In this study, 449 isolates belonging to 21 fungal species representing 9 genera were found in 45 samples of bee pollen. The total isolates were detected in frozen poppy pollen 29, rape pollen 40, sunflower pollen 80, in dried poppy pollen 12, rape pollen 36, sunflower 78, in poppy pollen after UV radiation treatment 54, rape 59 and sunflower 58. The most frequent isolates of microscopic fungi found in bee pollen samples of all prevalent species were Mucor mucedo (49 isolates), Alternaria alternata (40 isolates), Mucor hiemalis (40 isolates), Aspergillus fumigatus (33 isolates) and Cladosporium cladosporioides (31 isolates). The most frequently found isolates were detected in sunflower bee pollen frozen (80 isolates) and the lowest number of isolates was observed in poppy bee pollen dried (12 isolates). The most prevalent mycotoxin of poppy bee pollen was ZON (361.55 ± 0.26 μ, in rape bee pollen T-2 toxin (265.40 ± 0.18 μ and in sunflower bee pollen T-2 toxin (364.72 ± 0.13 μ in all cases in frozen samples.

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