Aspergillus flavus is a pathogenic fungus with a cosmopolitan distribution. It is best known for its colonization of cereal grains, legumes, and tree nuts. Postharvest rot typically develops during harvest, storage, and/or transit. Specifically, A. flavus infection causes ear rot in corn and yellow mold in peanuts either before or after harvest. Its specific name flavus derives from the Latin meaning yellow, a reference to the frequently observed colour of the spores.
A. flavus infections can occur while hosts are still in the field (preharvest), but often show no symptoms (dormancy) until postharvest storage and/or transport. In addition to causing preharvest and postharvest infections, many strains produce significant quantities of toxic compounds known as mycotoxins, which, when consumed, are toxic to mammals.
A. flavus is also an opportunistic human and animal pathogen, causing aspergillosis in immunocompromised individuals.