Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314559

Title: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based methods for detection and identification of mycotoxigenic Penicillium species using conserved genes

item Peterson, Stephen

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2016
Publication Date: 12/15/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Peterson, S.W. 2017. Targeting conserved genes in Penicillium species. In: Moretti, A., Susca, A., editors. Mycotoxigenic Fungi: Methods and Protocols. New York, NY: Humana Press. p. 149-157.

Interpretive Summary: Molds in the toxin forming and food decaying group called Penicillium subg. Penicillium have long been troublesome in commodities and difficult to identify. Some species produce highly poisonous exudates, while other similar appearing species are used in ripening cheeses or producing penicillin. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology and mold genetics show it is possible to accurately identify the species of this group through molecular genetics. A method is detailed to identify Penicillium subg. Penicillium species using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing, and curated DNA sequence databases. This will make it simpler to understand study results and will also lead to long-term stability of mold names associated either with toxin production or usage in food production. This will primarily be of interest to food technologist.

Technical Abstract: Polymerase chain reaction amplification of conserved genes and sequence analysis provides a very powerful tool for the identification of toxigenic as well as non-toxigenic Penicillium species. Sequences are obtained by amplification of the gene fragment, sequencing via capillary electrophoresis of dideoxynucleotide labeled fragments or NGS. The sequences are compared to a database of validated isolates. Identification is of species through a housekeeping gene proxy and indicates the potential of the fungus to make particular mycotoxins.