Pakistan is fourth in chickpea (Cicer arietinum Linnaeus) production. It has high carbohydrate contents (62.34%) (El-adawy, 2002) and protein levels (23.67%) (Alajaji and El-Adawy, 2006; FAO, 2018). Pakistan faces considerable losses (15–55%) in chickpea crops during storage (Vanzetti et al., 2017). Contamination of stored commodities is mostly reported with microflora and insect infestations (Bhat, 1988; Delouche, 1980; Mills, 1986; Tuda, 1996). Mycotoxins are non-volatile secondary metabolites, produced by filamentous fungi which reduce the quality of stored food by damaging their physical appearance and chemical composition (Bräse et al., 2009). Mycotoxins mediated semiochemicals are considered as an indicator of rotten odor in grains and simulate interaction among insects and fungus species (Bennett and Inamdar, 2015; Bennett et al., 2012)
In stored commodities, the species of genus Aspergillus and Penicillium more proliferate due to high relative humidity and mycotoxins (Dawar et al., 2007; Kumar et al., 2009; Patil et al., 2012; Shukla et al., 2012). Aspergillus flavus contributed 64% of more aflatoxin production in C. arietinum seeds as compared to quality-added products of chickpea (Ramirez et al., 2018). There have been deleterious consequences of chick pea consumption contaminated with toxigenic fungi on human health and animals (Urooj et al., 2015).
The granivorous Callosobruchus maculatus F. (cowpea weevil)(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchidae) is the considerable causative agent of severe losses in seed germination, weight and nutritional level of legumes (Généfol et al., 2018; Staneva, 1982; Valencia et al., 1986). The C. maculatus can destroy dry beans in tropical and arid climatic zones, especially in stores (Tuda et al., 2006). Beetles can develop in the availability of reduced water and food quantity in storage ecosystems (Dongre et al., 1996). The penetration of storage fungi in stored commodities occurs due to the mishandling after harvest, presence of dust residues, cracks in seed coat because of mechanical handling and insects (Woloshuk and Martínez, 2012).
Temperature is also a fundamental aspect related to insect physiology (Ratte, 1984) and biochemistry (Downer and Kallapur, 1981). The various ranges of temperature affect the survival of Bruchidae species and insect activities (Giga and Smith, 1987; Miyatake et al., 2008; Soares et al., 2015). Development of bruchid beetles is highly responsive to ranges of temperature which are also responsible for fungal communities development in post-harvest practices (Kistler, 1995; Sautour et al., 2001; Umoetok Akpassam et al., 2017). The well-studied temperature variables for all pathogenic microbes are 15–37°C. The optimum temperature for growth of A. flavus is 37°C, while Penicillium species are also developed at lower temperatures i.e., from room temperature to 0°C (Asurmendi et al., 2015; Lahouar et al., 2016; Palou, 2014).
Current study is designed to interpret the relationship between fungi species (Penicillium digitatum, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Alternaria alternata) and population builup of C. maculatus in stored grains at different temperature ranges(25°C, 27°C, 33°C and 35°C) at constant humidity (70%). Current findings will be helpful in developing some IPM strategy for C. maculatus and fungal infestation in stored products