New penicillin-producing Penicillium species and an overview of section Chrysogena

J. Houbraken, J.C. Frisvad, K.A. Seifert, D.P. Overy, D.M. Tuthill, J.G. Valdez, R.A. Samson

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

    120 Citations (Scopus)


    Species classified in Penicillium sect. Chrysogena are primary soil-borne and the most well-known members are P. chrysogenum and P. nalgiovense. Penicillium chrysogenum has received much attention because of its role in the production on penicillin and as a contaminant of indoor environments and various food and feedstuffs. Another biotechnologically important species is P. nalgiovense, which is used as a fungal starter culture for the production of fermented meat products. Previous taxonomic studies often had conflicting species circumscriptions. Here, we present a multigene analysis, combined with phenotypic characters and extrolite data, demonstrating that sect. Chrysogena consists of 18 species. Six of these are newly described here (P. allii-sativi, P. desertorum, P. goetzii, P. halotolerans, P. tardochrysogenum, P. vanluykii) and P. lanoscoeruleum was found to be an older name for P. aethiopicum. Each species produces a unique extrolite profile. The species share phenotypic characters, such as good growth on CYA supplemented with 5 % NaCl, ter- or quarterverticillate branched conidiophores and short, ampulliform phialides (<9 μm). Conidial colours, production of ascomata and ascospores, shape and ornamentation of conidia and growth rates on other agar media are valuable for species identification. Eight species (P. allii-sativi, P. chrysogenum, P. dipodomyis, P. flavigenum, P. nalgiovense, P. rubens, P. tardochrysogenum and P. vanluykii) produce penicillin in culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-100
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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