, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 11-22
Date: 08 Mar 2009

Characterization of Penicillium Species by Ribosomal DNA Sequencing and BOX, ERIC and REP-PCR Analysis

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Abstract

The genus Penicillium is one of the largest and widely distributed fungal genera described to date. As a result, its taxonomic classification and species discrimination within this genus has become complicated. In this study, 52 isolates that belonged to the Penicillum genus and other related genera were characterized using two DNA-based methods: (i) analysis of the nucleotide sequences of internal transcribed spacers in ribosomal DNA and (ii) analysis of DNA fingerprints that were generated by polymerase chain reactions with specific primers for enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) and repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP) sequences, and BOX elements. Using both methods, Penicillium species were discriminated from other fungal genera. Furthermore, Penicillium species that include strains which are used as biocontrol agents, such as P. glabrum, P. purpurogenum, and P. oxalicum, could be distinguished from other Penicillium species using these techniques. Based on our findings, we propose that a polyphasic approach that includes analysis of the nucleotide sequences of ribosomal DNA and detecting the presence of highly conserved, repeated nucleotide sequences can be used to determine the genetic relationships between different Penicillium species. Furthermore, we propose that our results can be used as a start point to develop a strategy to monitor the environmental presence of particular strains of Penicillium species when they are used as biocontrol agents.