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Food Addit Contam. 2007 Oct;24(10):1154-60.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identification of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus tubingensis based on the calmodulin gene.

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Institute of Sciences of Food Production, ISPA-CNR, Via Amendola 122/0, I-70126, Bari, Italy.


Aspergillus niger and A. tubingensis, species belonging to section Nigri, are commonly found in plant products and processed food, such as grapes, cereals, coffee, and derived products. These two species are very difficult to differentiate by classical morphological criteria and some isolates are known to produce ochratoxin A. The exact identification of these two species is very important to avoid the overestimation of toxicological contamination and related risks. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based identification and detection assay was developed as a tool to identify A. niger and A. tubingensis, using molecular differences obtained by sequencing the calmodulin gene. Two pairs of species-specific primers were designed and empirically evaluated for PCR identification of A. niger and A. tubingensis. Species-specific PCR products generated by each primer set were 505 bp (A. tubingensis) and 245 bp (A. niger) in length, which could be potentially useful for a multiplex PCR assay. The sensitivity of this assay was about 10 pg DNA in a 25-microl PCR reaction volume, using pure total DNA of the two species. The method described in this study represents a rapid and reliable procedure to assess the presence in food products of two ochratoxigenic species of section Nigri.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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