Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 2463–2471 | Cite as

Gene Expression Analysis as a Method to Predict OTA Accumulation in Dry-Cured Meat Products

  • Victoria Bernáldez
  • Alicia Rodríguez
  • Josué Delgado
  • Lourdes Sánchez-Montero
  • Juan J. Córdoba


Dry-cured meat products are frequently colonised by toxigenic Penicillium nordicum and Penicillium verrucosum throughout their ripening that can produce ochratoxin A (OTA). The predictive nature of the molecular analyses can be used to determine the risk of toxigenic species. For this reason, the objective of the present work was to analyse the temporal changes in the expression of the otapks and otanps genes by P. nordicum and P. verrucosum in relation to OTA production on slices of dry-fermented sausage salchichón and dry-cured ham. Gene expression was higher in P. nordicum than in P. verrucosum in both meat matrices. The otapks gene was overexpressed by both Penicillium species, especially in salchichón. OTA was only detected in inoculated salchichón regardless of the ochratoxigenic species used. The high significant correlation found between the early relative expression of the otapks gene and OTA production in salchichón leads to propose the relative gene expression of the otapks gene as a good indicator to predict OTA accumulation throughout the ripening of this product.


Gene expression otapks otanps RT-qPCR OTA 


Funding Information

The authors would like to thank to the Spanish Interministerial Committee on Science and Technology (grant numbers CSD2007-00016 and AGL 2013-45729-P) and the Government of Extremadura and FEDER (grant number GR15108) for their financial support. V. Bernáldez and Dr. A. Rodríguez were supported by a pre-doctoral fellowship FPU (AP 2012-5457) from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and by a Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación senior research fellowship (IJCI-2014-20666) from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, respectively. Technical support was provided by the Facility of Innovation and Analysis in Animal Source Foodstuffs (SIPA) of SAIUEx (financed by UEX, Junta de Extremadura, MICINN, FEDER, and FSE).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Victoria Bernáldez declares that she has no conflict of interest. Alicia Rodríguez declares that she has no conflict of Interest. Josué Delgado declares that he has no conflict of Interest. Lourdes Sánchez-Montero declares that she has no conflict of Interest. Juan J. Córdoba declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

This article has not been published before, and it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Bernáldez
    • 1
  • Alicia Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Josué Delgado
    • 1
  • Lourdes Sánchez-Montero
    • 1
  • Juan J. Córdoba
    • 1
  1. 1.Food Hygiene and Safety, Meat and Meat Products Research Institute, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of ExtremaduraCáceresSpain

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