Skip to main content

Open Access Phylogenetic analysis of Monascus and new species from honey, pollen and nests of stingless bees

The genus Monascus was described by van Tieghem (1884) to accommodate M. ruber and M. mucoroides, two species with non-ostiolate ascomata. Species delimitation in the genus is still mainly based on phenotypic characters, and taxonomic studies that include sequence data are limited. The genus is of economic importance. Species are used in fermented Asian foods as food colourants (e.g. ‘red rice’ (ang-kak, angka)) and found as spoilage organisms, and recently Monascus was found to be essential in the lifecycle of stingless bees. In this study, a polyphasic approach was applied combining morphological characters, ITS, LSU, β-tubulin, calmodulin and RNA polymerase II second largest subunit sequences and extrolite data, to delimit species and to study phylogenetic relationships in Monascus. Furthermore, 30 Monascus isolates from honey, pollen and nests of stingless bees in Brazil were included. Based on this polyphasic approach, the genus Monascus is resolved in nine species, including three new species associated with stingless bees (M. flavipigmentosus sp. nov., M. mellicola sp. nov., M. recifensis sp. nov., M. argentinensis, M. floridanus, M. lunisporas, M. pallens, M. purpureus, M. ruber), and split in two new sections (section Floridani sect. nov., section Rubri sect. nov.). Phylogenetic analysis showed that the xerophile Monascus eremophilus does not belong in Monascus and monophyly in Monascus is restored with the transfer of M. eremophilus to Penicillium (P. eremophilum comb. nov.). A list of accepted and excluded Monascus and Basipetospora species is given, together with information on (ex-)types cultures and barcode sequence data.

Keywords: Aspergillaceae; Extrolites; Fungal ecology; Phylogeny; Taxonomy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Studies in Mycology is an international journal which publishes systematic monographs of filamentous fungi and yeasts, and special topical issues related to all fields of mycology, biotechnology, ecology, molecular biology, pathology and systematics. The journal is Open-Access and contains monographs or topical issues (5–6 papers per issue). There are no restrictions of length, although it is generally expected that manuscripts should be at least 50 A4 pages in print.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Code of ethics
  • GDPR Compliance
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content