Aspergillus section Aspergillus (formerly the genus Eurotium) includes xerophilic species with uniseriate conidiophores, globose to subglobose vesicles, green conidia and yellow, thin walled eurotium-like ascomata with hyaline, lenticular ascospores. In the present study, a polyphasic approach using morphological characters, extrolites, physiological characters and phylogeny was applied to investigate the taxonomy of this section. Over 500 strains from various culture collections and new isolates obtained from indoor environments and a wide range of substrates all over the world were identified using calmodulin gene sequencing. Of these, 163 isolates were subjected to molecular phylogenetic analyses using sequences of ITS rDNA, partial β-tubulin (BenA), calmodulin (CaM) and RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (RPB2) genes. Colony characteristics were documented on eight cultivation media, growth parameters at three incubation temperatures were recorded and micromorphology was examined using light microscopy as well as scanning electron microscopy to illustrate and characterise each species. Many specific extrolites were extracted and identified from cultures, including echinulins, epiheveadrides, auroglaucins and anthraquinone bisanthrons, and to be consistent in strains of nearly all species. Other extrolites are species-specific, and thus valuable for identification. Several extrolites show antioxidant effects, which may be nutritionally beneficial in food and beverages. Important mycotoxins in the strict sense, such as sterigmatocystin, aflatoxins, ochratoxins, citrinin were not detected despite previous reports on their production in this section. Adopting a polyphasic approach, 31 species are recognised, including nine new species. ITS is highly conserved in this section and does not distinguish species. All species can be differentiated using CaM or RPB2 sequences. For BenA, Aspergillus brunneus and A. niveoglaucus share identical sequences. Ascospores and conidia morphologyw, growth rates at different temperatures are most useful characters for phenotypic species identification.
Open Access funded by CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre
- Aspergillus proliferans
- Eurotium amstelodami.
- Multi-gene phylogeny