Penicillium is a genus of fungi that is widely present, whether acting as a food spoilage, mycotoxin producer or even being exploited for biotechnological purposes. Brazil has a biodiversity little explored in the area of Penicillium species, therefore, the correct identification at the species level is very important in food mycology, as there are several characteristics associated with each species. In addition, knowledge of the distribution of toxigenic species in food can provide parameters for the control and prevention of toxin production by fungi. Under these conditions, the present project aims to verify the biodiversity of Penicillium species through polyphasic taxonomy that were isolated from coffee beans, Brazil nuts and cocoa, obtained in different Brazilian biomes. These cultures have been kept in the fungal collection of the Laboratory of Microbiology of the Institute of Food Technology (ITAL). As a result of this work, it is expected to characterize the diversity of Penicillium spp.; identifying the main sections/series and species that occur in these substrates and eventually describing new species in this important genus.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: