Effects of aflatoxin contaminated maize on Folsomia candida (Collembola)
The aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) producing mould, Aspergillus flavus, is spread to more northern regions with global warming. AFB1 can cause genotoxicity, oxidative stress, immunosuppression and necrosis in the liver, kidney and muscles in vertebrates, but the effect on invertebrates is not well known. Folsomia candida (Collembola) is a cosmopolitan species and could be easily bred in the laboratory because of its parthenogenetic reproduction. The aim of the present study was to determine whether AFB1 has a toxic effect on the survival and reproduction or whether the animals prefer to feed on A. flavus or yeast and to determine whether the animals avoid the aflatoxin contaminated soil or not. The mortality did not increased because of AFB1, but the reproduction was impaired. In addition, the animals feed on AFB1 contaminated maize but do not prefer it compared to yeast. Moreover, the animals are not only not avoiding the contaminated soil but preferred the AFB1 contaminated side. Most probably, because A. flavus could be high quality food when the animals consume the not toxin producer hyphae. Because of that the animals most probably try to consume the contaminated hyphae too. In conclusion, AFB1 contaminated maize is not recommended to be used as green manure in the soil in a native state. Alternative solutions could be the use of mycotoxin contaminated maize as biogas or after decontamination by bacterial and fungal strains, it could be used as manure.