Characterization of nonochratoxigenic strains of Aspergillus carbonarius from grapes

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Aspergillus carbonarius is the main responsible source of ochratoxin A (OTA) in food commodities such as wine, grapes or dried vine fruits from main viticultural regions worldwide. Besides, OTA production is a very consistent property of this species and for this reason atoxigenic isolates of A.carbonarius are very rarely found in natural environments. In the present study, for the first time, three nonochratoxigenic wild strains of A.carbonarius have been discovered, unambiguously identified, characterized in deep and compared to ochratoxigenic strains of the same species. In addition, polyketide synthase (pks) genes suggested to be involved in OTA biosynthesis were also screened in these strains. The identification of the strains was confirmed by ITS-5.8S rRNA, β-tubulin and calmodulin gene sequencing. The three atoxigenic strains did not produce OTA in a conducive culture medium at any of the temperatures and times of incubation tested. Five ketosynthase domains from pks genes previously described in A.carbonarius were detected both in ochratoxigenic and in nonochratoxigenic strains. Atoxigenic strains of A. carbonarius could be useful as biotechnological agents to be used in food industry and as biological agents for control of OTA production in vineyards and other crops. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-141
JournalFood Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • Aspergillus carbonarius
  • Atoxigenic strains
  • Biological control
  • Biotechnological agents
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Wine


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