Research – Fungal diversity and frequency carried by housefly (Musca domestica L.) and their relation with stored grains in rural areas of Pakistan

Wiley Online fly


Housefly (Musca domestica L.) contaminates food by transferring microbes. Fungi carried by houseflies cause postharvest losses by food spoilage produce mycotoxins and spread various infectious diseases in human beings and animals. This study was planned to determine the diversity and frequency of fungal species carried by houseflies and their relation with stored grains. Houseflies in the vicinity of stored wheat and rice grains were collected from the rural areas of four districts of Pakistan. Overall, 897, 631, and 687 fungal species were isolated from houseflies, rice, and wheat grains, respectively. Aspergillus and Fusarium species followed by Alternaria and Penicillium species were found dominant in houseflies, rice, and wheat grains. Correlation analyses revealed a significant association between most of the fungal species isolated from houseflies, wheat, and rice grains. The study concludes that a strong correlation of fungi exists between stored grains and houseflies around the unhygienic storage places.

Practical applications

It is highly important to understand the role of houseflies in spreading various fungal species to stored grains, particularly in our persisting rural grain storage system. Our study is first of its kind in which we have studied the correlation of fungal diversity and abundance between houseflies, wheat, and rice grains stored in the same vicinity/place/house. Our findings show a strong correlation in fungal diversity and abundance, isolated from flies and stored grains. This study demonstrates the role of houseflies in the dispersal of various fungal species to contaminate the stored grains. Therefore, appropriate measures should be taken to control the houseflies or their entrance to store houses. There is a strong need to give awareness and improve the grain storage system in houses, especially in rural areas, by food regulating authorities.

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