Filamentous fungi are important organisms in traditionally prepared amylase and alcohol-producing dry starters in India. We collected 40 diverse types of amylase and alcohol-producing starters from eight states in North East India viz. marcha, thiat, humao, hamei, chowan, phut, dawdim, and khekhrii. The average fungal population was 4.9 × 105 cfu/g with an average of pH 5.3 and 10.7%, respectively. In the present study, 131 fungal isolates were isolated and characterized based on macroscopic and microscopic characteristics and were grouped into 44 representative fungal strains. Based on results of morphological characteristics and ITS gene sequencing, 44 fungal strains were grouped into three phyla represented by Ascomycota (48%), Mucoromycota (38%), and Basidiomycota (14%). Taxonomical keys to species level was illustrated on the basis of morphological characteristics and ITS gene sequencing, aligned to the fungal database of NCBI GenBank, which showed seven genera with 16 species represented by Mucor circinelloides (20%), Aspergillus sydowii (11%), Penicillium chrysogenum (11%), Bjerkandera adusta (11%), Penicillium citrinum (7%), Rhizopus oryzae (7%), Aspergillus niger (5%), Aspergillus flavus (5%), Mucor indicus (5%) Rhizopus microsporus (5%), Rhizopus delemar (2%), Aspergillus versicolor (2%), Penicillium oxalicum (2%), Penicillium polonicum (2%), Trametes hirsuta (2%), and Cladosporium parahalotolerans (2%). The highest Shannon diversity index H was recorded in marcha of Sikkim (H: 1.74) and the lowest in hamei of Manipur (H: 0.69). Fungal species present in these amylolytic starters are morphologically, ecologically and phylogenetically diverse and showed high diversity within the community.
Keywords: Aspergillus; India; Mucor; Penicillium; Rhizopus; amylolytic starter; filamentous molds.
Copyright © 2020 Anupma and Tamang.