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Title: Secondary Metabolite Profiling, Growth Profiles and Other Tools for Species Recognition and Important Aspergillus Mycotoxins

item LARSEN, T
item DE VRIES, R
item MEIJER, M
item Ehrlich, Kenneth
item SAMSON, R

Submitted to: Studies in Mycology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2007
Publication Date: 12/21/2007
Citation: Frisvad, J.C., Larsen, T.O., De Vries, R., Meijer, M., Houbraken, J., Cabanes, F.J., Ehrlich, K., Samson, R.A. 2007. Secondary Metabolite Profiling, Growth Profiles and Other Tools for Species Recognition and Important Aspergillus Mycotoxins. Studies in Mycology 59:31-37.

Interpretive Summary: A general review is presented of the chemistry and enzyme reactions that occur in the biosynthesis of the highly toxic Aspergillus metabolites, the aflatoxins. The emphasis in the paper is how to use the chemicals that a particular Aspergillus species makes to be able to identify that species. Most species have a chemotype, that is, they are able to make multiple toxic and non-toxic chemicals. These are called extrolites. Examples of the use of this methodology are detailed in the review. The Aspergillus metabolites, the aflatoxins, are some of the most well-known and widely studied of these compounds. Nevertheless, the understanding the chemistry of their formation is, after more than 60 years, still a flourishing research topic.

Technical Abstract: Species in the genus Aspergillus have been classified primarily based on morphological features. Sequencing of house-hold genes has also been used in Aspergillus taxonomy and phylogeny, while extrolites and physiological features have been used less frequently. Three independent ways of classifying and identifying aspergilli appear to be applicable: Morphology combined with physiology and nutritional features, secondary metabolite profiling, and DNA sequencing. These three ways of identifying Aspergillus species often point to the same species. This consensus approach can be used initially, but if consensus is achieved, it is recommended to combine at least two of these independent ways of characterising aspergilli in a polyphasic taxonomy. The chemical combination of secondary metabolites and DNA sequence features has not been explored in taxonomy yet, however. Examples of these different taxonomic approaches will be given for Aspergillus section Nigri.