Two rapid assays for screening of patulin biodegradation
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Author/sWright, S.A.I.; de Felice, D.V.; Ianiri, G.; de Curtis, F.; Castoria, R.; Pinedo Rivilla, Cristina
SourceInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology (2014) 11:1387–1398
The mycotoxin patulin is produced by the blue mould pathogen Penicillium expansum in rotting apples during postharvest storage. Patulin is toxic to a wide range of organisms, including humans, animals, fungi and bacteria. Wash water from apple packing and processing houses often harbours patulin and fungal spores, which can contaminate the environment. Ubiquitous epiphytic yeasts, such as Rhodosporidium kratochvilovae strain LS11 which is a biocontrol agent of P. expansum in apples, have the capacity to resist the toxicity of patulin and to biodegrade it. Two non-toxic products are formed. One is desoxypatulinic acid. The aim of the work was to develop rapid, high-throughput bioassays for monitoring patulin degradation in multiple samples. Escherichia coli was highly sensitive to patulin, but insensitive to desoxypatulinic acid. This was utilized to develop a detection test for patulin, replacing time-consuming thin layer chromatography or high-performance liquid chromatography. Two assays for patulin degradation were developed, one in liquid medium and the other in semi-solid medium. Both assays allow the contemporary screening of a large number of samples. The liquid medium assay utilizes 96-well microtiter plates and was optimized for using a minimum of patulin. The semisolid medium assay has the added advantage of slowing down the biodegradation, which allows the study and isolation of transient degradation products. The two assays are complementary and have several areas of utilization, from screening a bank of microorganisms for biodegradation ability to the study of biodegradation pathways.