Growth of Aspergillus repens in Flue-Cured Tobacco 1


In laboratory tests, flue-cured tobacco inoculated with Aspergillus repens was stored at 75, 80, 85, 87, and 95% relative humidity at 20 and 30 C. Samples were taken weekly for 4 weeks and evaluated for mold growth (colony count) and moisture content (MC). The weekly rate of fungus increase was slower at 20 C than at 30 C. Tobacco at 20 C with MC between 25 to 30% supported a slight to moderate increase in A. repens after 3 weeks of storage. However, tobacco at the same MC stored at 30 C was subject to rapid invasion by the fungus in as few as 1 to 2 weeks. Tobacco with MC above 30% stored at either 20 or 30 C became moldy in about 1 week. A mold index is proposed for evaluating populations of A. repens in tobacco.

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