, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 423-428

Genetic variability within theAspergillus viridinutans species

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The intraspecific variability of theAspergillus viridinutans species was examined using various techniques including morphological examinations, carbon-source-utilization tests, restriction-enzyme analysis of the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, and sequence analysis of part of the β-tubulin gene. Although the genetic distances between the isolates were higher than between,e.g., A. fumigatus andNeosartorya fischeri, mostA. viridinutans isolates, together withN. aureola andN. udagawae strains, were found to belong to a single cluster based on sequence data. Strain FRR 1266, which was earlier classified as a highly divergentA. fumigatus isolate, was found to belong to theA. viridinutans species. The ochratoxin A producingA. viridinutans strain IMI 306 135 was most closely related to an asexual isolate. These two latter strains were more closely related toA. fumigatus andN. fischeri than to anyA. viridinutans strains, and possibly represent a new species in theAspergillus sectionFumigati. The dendrogram based on carbon source utilization data and results of restriction analysis of the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA of the strains supported most of the evolutionary relationships observed on the basis of sequence data. The results indicate that the presence or absence of nodding conidial heads is not an unequivocal morphological character for the identification of species within theAspergillus sectionFumigati.