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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify the foodborne pathogens mainly, Aspergillus sp. colonizing rice grains using cultural and microscopic methods. Four differential media (Czapek Dox Agar (CZA), Czapek Yeast Agar (CYA), Malt Extract Agar (MEA) and Czapek yeast 20% sucrose agar (CYA20S)) were used for differentiation of five Aspergillus sp., colonizing rice grains comparing with standard cultures. We studied macroscopic (colony color and diameter, conidia color, exudates, sclerotia and colony texture) and microscopic (conidiophore color, length and breadth, conidia size, shape and surface texture, vesicle diameter and phialides length and breadth) characteristics for identification of 110 isolates of Aspergillus sp. isolated from 65 rice grain samples collected from various countries in South Asia (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand). According to morphological characters, all these isolates were belonging to Aspergillus flavus (45), A. fumigatus (8), A. ochraceus (7), A. niger (42) and A. tamarii (8). This is the first report on identification of large number of Aspergillus strains isolated from rice grains in South Asia.
    Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 01/2010;