Submitted to: International Workshop on Penicillium and Aspergillus
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 19, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The sequences of genetic material (DNA) were obtained from species in the mold group Penicillium to see whether identifications based on colony color, texture, and other characters are accurate and repeatable. There is an urgent need to identify these molds because many of the species in the group produce mycotoxins that are harmful to man and livestock. It was found that the currently used system based on colony characteristics is inadequate and is unable to correctly and repeatably identify toxin forming strains. The use of DNA sequences as the defining characteristic of the molds is reliable, repeatable and extremely accurate. This identification system will be of value in determining which species of molds produce particular mycotoxin that have impact on agricultural systems.
Technical Abstract: Species of Eupenicillium and Penicillium from subgenera Aspergilloides, Furcatum and Penicillium were examined morphologically and rDNA sequences were determined and analyzed phylogenetically to determine if taxa in current monographic treatments of Penicillium are monophyletic. Parsimony analysis of the rDNA sequences shows that many subgeneric taxa in Penicillium are polyphyletic, and that the emphasis placed on penicillus structure in Penicillium taxonomy lead to polyphyletic classifications. Statistically, the relationships of some of the taxa are not strongly supported by the current DNA sequence data, but with further information from additional genes, monophyletic subgeneric taxa in Penicillium will be defined.