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PCR Detection Assay of Fumonisin-Producing Fusarium verticillioides Strains

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Fusarium verticillioides is considered to be the main source of fumonisins, a group of toxins that contaminate commodities and result in chronic and acute diseases affecting humans and animals. The detection and control of this species is crucial to prevent fumonisins from entering the food chain. The objective of the present research was to develop a specific, sensitive, and robust PCR assay to detect F. verticillioides strains using two pairs of specific primers for F. verticillioides, which have been designed on the basis of the intergenic spacer region of the rDNA units. The first pair of primers was F. verticillioides species specific, whereas the second pair of primers detected fumonisin-producing F. verticillioides strains. This second pair of primers allowed for the discrimination between the major group of F. verticillioides strains, fumonisin-producing strains that are mainly associated with crops, and a minor group of strains, non-fumonisin-producing strains that are associated with bananas. Fifty-four strains of F. verticillioides from different geographical regions and hosts were tested using both sets of primers. Sixteen additional Fusarium species were examined. The specificity of the primer sequences provides the basis for a simple, rapid, accurate, and sensitive detection and identification method of this fungal species that represents a risk for human and animal health.


Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Departmento de Microbiología III, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain 2: Departmento de Genética, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain 3: Institute of Science of Food Production, Bari, Italy 4: Departmento de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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