The ochratoxigenic mycobiota of grapes belonging to representative wine regions located along the Mediterranean coast of Spain at different developmental stages was identified. During the development of the berries, the occurrence of Aspergillus spp. increased while the percentage of berries contaminated by non-ochratoxin A (OTA) producing species such as Alternaria spp. and Cladosporium spp. decreased. Penicillium verrucosum, the only confirmed Penicillium spp. that is able to produce OTA, was not isolated. The contamination by OTA-producing species comes from the surface of the berries and not from the inner fruit. Black aspergilli were predominant among the different Aspergillus spp. isolated. All the Aspergillus carbonarius isolates were able to produce OTA at different concentrations. None of the isolates belonging to Aspergillus niger aggregate and to Aspergillus japonicus var. aculeatus were able to produce OTA. These results are a strong evidence of the contribution of A. carbonarius in the OTA contamination in wine grapes, mainly at the last developmental stages of the berries. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Aspergillus carbonarius
- Ochratoxin A