Novel species of Penicillium discovered from orchard apples

Ouhibi, S., Santos, C., Soares, C., Gali, R., Hedhili, A., Paterson, R., Lima, N. (2018) Penicillium tunisiense sp. nov., a novel species of Penicillium section Ramosa discovered from Tunisian orchard apples (Int. J. Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 68,10, 3217-3225, 2018)
Penicillium tunisiense

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From the day today, and as results of the collaboration of the Micoteca da Universidade da Minho (MUM) fungal culture collection with colleagues from the University of El Manar in Tunisia, a new species isolated from orchard apples was described for the first time for Science.

This filamentous fungus is characterised by not infecting and rotting the apples and not being a producer of mycotoxin patulin, in contrast to the fungus Penicillium expansum that firstly hidden it which is responsible for the apples blue mould rotting and produce patulin.

This novel Tunisian Penicillium species is now preserved and available in the MUM catalogue and can be potentially exploited to fight the fungus of apple blue mould under the concept of "biological control".

In addition to the more than 750 strains in the catalogue, MUM has been involved so far in describing the following new species for science: Aspergillus ibericus, Aspergillus brasiliensis, Aspergillus mottae, Aspergillus sergii, Aspergillus transmontanensis, Aspergillus uvarum, Penicillium astrolabio and Penicillium neocrassum.

MUM, was established in 1996 and hosted by the Biological Engineering Centre, is a collection of filamentous fungal culture collection certified under the ISO 9001:2015 standard and has as Vision "A world in which fungal diversity is preserved and available for all" and Mission “To be a resource centre for fungal biodiversity preservation and information, and create solutions for sustainable development and human well-being". Recently, MUM was involved in the succeed application to bring to Portugal (University of Minho/Biological Engineering Centre) the European headquarters of the Microbial Resource Research infrastructure - MIRRI.