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Title: Characterization of blue mold Penicillium species isolated from stored fruits using multiple highly conserved loci

item YIN, GUOHUA - Rutgers University
item ZHANG, YULIANG - Chinese Academy Of Tropical Agricultural Sciences
item PENNERMAN, K - Rutgers University
item WU, GUANGXI - Colorado State University
item Hua, Sui Sheng
item Yu, Jiujiang
item Jurick, Wayne
item GUO, ANPING - Chinese Academy Of Tropical Agricultural Sciences
item BENNETT, JOAN - Rutgers University

Submitted to: The Journal of Fungi
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/27/2017
Publication Date: 3/1/2017
Citation: Yin, G., Zhang, Y., Pennerman, K.K., Wu, G., Hua, S.T., Yu, J., Jurick II, W.M., Guo, A., Bennett, J.W. 2017. Characterization of blue mold Penicillium species isolated from stored fruits using multiple highly conserved loci. The Journal of Fungi. 3(1):12. doi:10.3390/jof3010012.

Interpretive Summary: There are over 400 Penicillium species described that occupy different biological habitats. Some produce antibiotics, others produce toxins that impact human health, while some elicit decay of produce resulting in economic losses to growers and retailers. In order to develop a rapid and accurate method for proper identification of Penicillium species that cause fruit rot, three DNA markers were used to distinguish between various Penicillium species. Results from this study successfully identified eight isolates representing four different Penicillium species that cause decay of stored apple fruit. This information will benefit the apple industry in taking proper measures to reduce or prevent apple decay during storage.

Technical Abstract: Penicillium is a large genus of common molds with over 400 described species; however, identification of individual species is difficult, including for those species that cause postharvest rots. In this study, blue rot fungi from stored apples and pears were isolated from a variety of hosts, locations and years. Based on morphological and cultural characteristics, and partial amplification of the ß-tubulin locus, the isolates were provisionally identified as several different species of Penicillium. These isolates were investigated further using a suite of molecular DNA markers and compared to sequences of the ex-type for cognate species in GenBank and were identified as P. expansum (3 isolates), P. solitum (3 isolates), P. carneum (1 isolate), and P. paneum (1 isolate). Three of the markers we used (ITS, benA, and CaM) were suitable for distinguishing most of our isolates from one another at the species level. In contrast, we were unable to amplify RPB2 sequences from four of the isolates. Comparison of our sequences with cognate sequences in GenBank from isolates with the same species names did not always give coherent data, reinforcing earlier studies that have shown large intraspecific variability in many Penicillium species, as well as possible errors in some sequence data deposited in GenBank.