Characterization of Fusarium Spp. Isolates by PCR-RFLP Analysis of the Intergenic Spacer Region of the rRNA Gene (rDNA)

Int J Food Microbiol. 2006 Feb 15;106(3):297-306. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2005.09.005. Epub 2005 Oct 24.


In the present study, 44 Fusarium spp. isolates (5 Fusarium culmorum, 7 Fusarium graminearum, 1 Fusarium cerealis, 1 Fusarium poae, 26 Fusarium oxysporum, and 4 Gibberella fujikuroi species complex) were characterized morphologically, physiologically and genetically. All except one (Dutch Collection: CBS 620.72) were isolated from different hosts grown in various Spanish localizations. Morphological characterization was made according to macroscopic and microscopic aspects. Physiological characterization was based on their ability to produce zearalenone (ZEA) and type B trichothecenes (deoxynivalenol, nivalenol and 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol). ZEA was determined by liquid chromatography and trichothecenes by gas chromatography. Confirmation was carried out by liquid chromatography-ion trap-mass spectrometry (ZEA) or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (trichothecenes). Molecular characterization of isolates was performed using an optimized, simple and low-cost method for isolation of DNA from filamentous fungi and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphisms (PCR-RFLP) of the intergenic spacer region (IGS) of the rRNA gene (rDNA). The results indicate that F. graminearum, F. culmorum and F. cerealis isolates were high ZEA and type B trichothecene producers, the F. poae isolate produced very low level of nivalenol while F. oxysporum and the G. fujikuroi complex isolates did not show this ability. Restriction patterns of the IGS region did not show any relationship with the host, geographic origin of the isolate and mycotoxin-producing capacity. However, the haplotypes obtained with six restriction enzymes (CfoI, AluI, HapII, XhoI, EcoRI and PstI) permitted to discern the six assayed Fusarium species. Therefore, this is a rapid and suitable methodology that allows closely related strains to group and to estimate the genetic relationships between the groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer / chemistry*
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer / genetics
  • Edible Grain / microbiology
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Fusarium* / classification
  • Fusarium* / genetics
  • Fusarium* / isolation & purification
  • Fusarium* / metabolism
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Mycological Typing Techniques
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length*
  • RNA, Fungal / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Species Specificity
  • Trichothecenes / analysis
  • Trichothecenes / biosynthesis*
  • Zearalenone / analysis
  • Zearalenone / biosynthesis*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Ribosomal Spacer
  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Trichothecenes
  • Zearalenone
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes