DNA barcoding for the identification of mold species in bakery plants and products

Nicole Ollinger, Verena Lasinger, Claudia Probst, Johannes Pitsch, Michael Sulyok, Rudolf Krska, Julian Weghuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mold identification at the species level in environmental samples is a major challenge. Molecular techniques have been widely used for fungal classification, but as most primers are genus-specific, it is laborious to identify unknown samples. In this study, a PCR-based method for the identification of mold at the species level was developed. Therefore, common sequencing primers and combinations of them, targeting specific DNA regions, were tested. Here we present a combination of eight primer pairs to identify mold within a single PCR run. The approach correctly identified mold of unknown species from samples taken at a local bakery, including Penicillium chrysogenum, Penicillium citrinum, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Paecilomyces formosus, Rhizopus oryzae and Aspergillus niger. Results obtained from the PCR method were successfully validated by chromatographic mycotoxin and microscopy analysis. Findings highlight DNA barcoding as an appropriate tool for mold identification; however, its efficacy is essentially dependent on DNA quality and primer selection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126501
Pages (from-to)126501
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020


  • Bakery products
  • DNA barcoding
  • Mold species
  • Mycotoxins
  • PCR
  • DNA Barcoding, Taxonomic/methods
  • Bread/microbiology
  • Fungi/genetics
  • Food Contamination/analysis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods
  • DNA, Fungal/genetics
  • Mycotoxins/metabolism
  • Food Handling


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