Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2002
Publication Date: 1/1/2003
Citation: PETERSON, S.W., PEREZ, J., VEGA, F.E., INFANTE, F. PENICILLIUM BROCAE A NEW SPECIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE COFFEE BERRY BORER IN CHIAPAS, MEXICO. MYCOLOGIA. 2003. V. 95 (1). P. 141-147. Interpretive Summary: Coffee berry borers (beetles) cause up to $500 million damage annually to the world-wide coffee crop by tunneling through the coffee berries, weakening the fruit and causing it to die on the tree. We examined the types of molds growing on coffee berries in southern Mexico in order to better understand the life-cycle of the borer beetle. We found and named a new mold, "Penicillium brocae" that is symbiotically associated with the borer and helps the borer thrive in coffee berries. Other mold species are also symbiotically associated with the borer. The large number of mold species that can help the borer thrive explains in part why it is so difficult to be rid of this pest.
Technical Abstract: Penicillium brocae is a new monoverticillate species isolated from coffee berry borers collected at coffee plantations in Mexico near Cacahoatán, Chiapas, or from borers reared on artificial diets at ECOSUR laboratory facilities in Tapachula, Chiapas. Phenotypically, it is in Penicillium series Implicatum but because it does not conform to known species we have described it as new. ITS and large subunit rDNA were sequenced and compared to determine the phylogenetic position of this species. It is most closely related to Penicillium adametzii. Penicillium brocae has only been found in association with the coffee berry borer and it is one of several fungi that grow in coffee berry borer galleries. Penicillium brocae may provide the exogenous sterols necessary for the coffee berry borer's development and thus be mutualistically associated with the insect.