Title page for ETD etd-04302009-144436

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Johnston, Candice Leigh
URN etd-04302009-144436
Document Title Identification of Penicillium species in the South African litchi export chain
Degree MSc
Department Microbiology and Plant Pathology
Advisor Name Title
Prof L Korsten Committee Chair
Mrs R Jacobs Committee Co-Chair
  • morphological examination
  • secondary metabolites
  • biochemical analysis
  • Penicillium
  • South African litchi export
Date 2008-07-11
Availability unrestricted
Penicillium species have been studied for over 200 years and the genus was first described by Link in 1809. Initially, morphological identification methods were used however, much diversity within the genus resulted in researchers seeking alternative techniques and approaches to improve accuracy. These methods involved biochemical analysis of secondary metabolites in conjunction with morphological examination. With the emergence of more accurate and rapid molecular identification tools, scientists embraced modem technology to address diversity challenges. In order to provide a more holistic approach towards the taxonomy of complex genera, morphological analysis remains an essential component in Penicillium identification. Penicillium species are omnipresent, dominant and problematic in postharvest environments. They are known to cause major losses in export markets due to fruit decay. The aim of this study was to identify species within the South African litchi export chain and develop a rapid method for Penicillium identification. This study used morphological as well as molecular identification methods in order to develop PCR-RFLP restriction maps for a number of dominant Penicillium species. Seventeen species of Penicillium were identified using conventional morphological methodology and DNA sequencing, both of which are laborious and time-consuming. Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism provided reliability and repeatability as well as being a cost-effective and rapid identification alternative. A combined phylogenetic study indicated that the taxonomic position of several species may need to be reconsidered. Fourteen species were differentiated from one another through digestion of the -tubulin gene region with five restriction enzymes. Banding patterns correlated well with phylogenetic and biochemical data of related studies, indicating that this method holds promise as a rapid identification procedure for Penicillium species.

2008 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Johnston, CL 2008, Identification of Penicillium species in the South African litchi export chain, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04302009-144436/ >


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