Application of MALDI-TOF MS to species complex differentiation and strain typing of food related fungi: Case studies with Aspergillus section Flavi species and Penicillium roqueforti isolates.


Toxalim (Research Center in Food Toxicology), Université de Toulouse, INRA, ENVT, INP-Purpan, UPS, 31027, Toulouse, France. Electronic address: [Email]


Filamentous fungi are one of the main causes of food losses worldwide and their ability to produce mycotoxins represents a hazard for human health. Their correct and rapid identification is thus crucial to manage food safety. In recent years, MALDI-TOF emerged as a rapid and reliable tool for fungi identification and was applied to typing of bacteria and yeasts, but few studies focused on filamentous fungal species complex differentiation and typing. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the use of MALDI-TOF to identify species of the Aspergillus section Flavi, and to differentiate Penicillium roqueforti isolates from three distinct genetic populations. Spectra were acquired from 23 Aspergillus species and integrated into a database for which cross-validation led to more than 99% of correctly attributed spectra. For P. roqueforti, spectra were acquired from 63 strains and a two-step calibration procedure was applied before database construction. Cross-validation and external validation respectively led to 94% and 95% of spectra attributed to the right population. Results obtained here suggested very good agreement between spectral and genetic data analysis for both Aspergillus species and P. roqueforti, demonstrating MALDI-TOF applicability as a fast and easy alternative to molecular techniques for species complex differentiation and strain typing of filamentous fungi.


Filamentous fungi,MALDI-TOF MS,Species complex,Strain typing,

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