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Implementation of molecular techniques for detection, identification and classification of microrganisms, training course and research development in the laboratory of microbiology of the Institute of Food Technology


The ITAL Microbiology Laboratory has been a reference in the area of detection andidentification of pathogenic and deteriorating microorganisms in foods using traditionaland cultural methods. In the last few decades, it has developed research and workedintensively with other research centers, universities, and with the food industry. Amongthe main areas in which the team operates, we highlight the development ofmethodologies for microbiological analysis and determination of the cause of foodspoilage. The ITAL Microbiology Laboratory has been actively involved with regulatoryagencies in establishing microbiological standards for food, mycotoxin food standardsand codes of practice for the prevention of mycotoxins in foods, along with the CodexAlimentarius. Since 1997, the Laboratory staff has published the Manual of Methods ofMicrobiological Analysis, describing the main methods available and accepted byANVISA and published by international organizations such as the American PublicHealth Association (APHA), International Organization of Standardization (ISO), FoodDrug Administration (FDA) and AOAC International. The manual has been a referencefor professionals of the food industry for the ease of use and didactic presentation of themethods.Although the morphological and cultural analyses for which the Laboratory is areference are highly relevant for microbial identification, in recent years some molecularbiology methods have become essential to assist in the accurate detection and/oridentification of microbial species. Currently, the ITAL Microbiology Laboratory has thepreponderant need to implement some molecular methods to be able to continue theexcellence of its work. In order to do so, some essential equipment for conductingmolecular biology experiments applied to food microbiology were purchased and moreare in the acquisition phase. In view of this framework, this proposal has the aim ofrequesting a grant for a visiting researcher with a mission aligned with the goals of theFood Technology Intitute Research Institutional Development Plan (Process2017/50349-0) so that, in a fast and effective way, the main methods of molecularanalysis, aimed at the detection and identification of microorganisms, are implemented.The visiting researcher, with recognized knowledge in the area of genetics and molecularbiology of microorganisms, will: 1) implement molecular methods applied to foodmicrobiology; 2) train people in molecular methods applied to food microbiology, and 3)support the development of research projects introducing molecular analyses.Regarding the implementation and training of people, the essential points fordetection, identification and molecular classification of microorganisms will beaddressed, among them the following: 1) extraction and quantification of DNA; 2)conventional PCR and its variables; 3) gene sequencing; 4) development of speciesspecificmarkers for direct detection of microorganisms; 5) analysis of sequences ofprimary and secondary barcodes; 6) construction of phylogenetic trees, 7) methods ofanalysis for recognition of new phylogenetic species. In the scope of the research, thevisiting researcher will effectively contribute to the development of current researchprojects at the ITAL Microbiology Laboratory with FAPESP assistance, related to themolecular characterization of toxigenic fungi isolated from rice, peanuts and spices. Theresearcher will also assist in the comparative studies of methods of direct detection(without culture) in different food matrices. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DA SILVA, ADRIANA RAQUEL PERSSON; FUNGARO, MARIA HELENA PELEGRINELLI; SILVA, JOSUE JOSE; MARTINS, LIGIA MANOEL; TANIWAKI, MARTA HIROMI; IAMANAKA, BEATRIZ THIE. Ochratoxin A and related fungi in Brazilian black pepper (Piper nigrum L.). Food Research International, v. 142, . (19/06032-8, 18/25597-3, 17/50349-0)
SILVA, JOSUE J.; IAMANAKA, BEATRIZ T.; FUNGARO, MARIA HELENA P.; TANIWAKI, MARTA H.. Aflatoxins in sugarcane production chain: what could be the source?. CURRENT OPINION IN FOOD SCIENCE, v. 29, p. 94-98, . (18/25597-3, 11/10073-0, 18/25552-0, 19/06032-8)

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