A novel PCR-based approach for the detection and classification of potential cellulolytic fungal strains isolated from museum items and surrounding indoor environment

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Aims:To develop a novel PCR-based method able to detect potential cellulolytic filamentous fungi and to classify them exploiting the amplification of the cellobiohydrolase gene (cbh-I) and its polymorphism.Methods and Results:A mixed approach including the combination of (i) fungal cultivation and isolation, (ii) classification of fungal isolates through the amplification of the cbh gene using a fluorescently labelled primer (f-CBH-PCR) and (iii) final fungal identification based on amplification and sequencing of the ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 region of the selected fungal strains was developed. By this approach, it was possible to screen 77 fungal strains belonging to 14 genera and 26 species.Conclusions:The f-CBH-PCR permitted the discrimination of fungal species, producing typical f-CBH profiles.Significance and Impact of the Study:In this study, the cbh gene was used as a preliminary classification tool able to differentiate among themselves the fungal members isolated from indoor museum items and surrounding environment. Such mixed approach consented the fast identification of all isolated fungal strains. The f-CBH-PCR method demonstrated its discrimination power, and it can be considered as a new molecular system suitable for the classification of fungal strains isolated from different environments.

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