SEAMEO BIOTROP held a training activity on the identification of mycotoxin-producing fungi on 3-6 September 2019 at its headquarters. This training was intended to deliver knowledge and skill in identifying the characteristics of mycotoxin-producing fungi in food both morphologically and molecularly using the BGYF (Blue Green Yellow Fluorescence) and Thin Layer Chromatography methods. Mycotoxin itself is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by certain microfungi and is capable of causing disease and death in both humans and other animals.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Irdika Mansur, BIOTROP’s Director, said that mycotoxin-producing fungus is an important fungus in human life because it can cause not only disease in animals and humans, but also post-harvest damage to food (seeds) and fruits. “Thus, proper handling is needed. But as the basis, we need to understand and ensure the species and its characteristics first. The identification can be carried out morphologically and molecularly,” he said.
The training course covered thirteen topics which were divided into classroom and practicum sessions: 1) morphological characters of Ascomycota, 2) diversity of mycotoxin-producing fungi in stored foodstuffs in Indonesia, 3) new taxonomic schemes of mycotoxigenic fungi, 4) taxonomy and identification of Aspergillus and Fusarium, 5) molecular approach in fungus systematics, 6) isolation of mycotoxin-producing fungi in food, 7) macro- and micromorphological observations of Aspergillus and Fusarium, 8) mycotoxins in fermented food, 9) mycotoxin analysis in fungus isolates, 10) sequence quality, sequence editing, and alignment, 11) phylogenetic analysis: multigene, 12) phylogenetic tree interpretation, and 13) identification of mycotoxin-producing fungi molecularly.
All materials were delivered by four experts as the resource persons: 1) Prof Robert A. Samson from Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 2) Prof Okky S. Dharmaputra from SEAMEO BIOTROP, 3) Dr. Gayuh Rahayu from IPB University, and 4) Dr. Nani Maryani from Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa University. In the practicum sessions, they were assisted by five research assistants from the Centre.
About 26 participants from various universities, research institutions, government institutions, and companies joined this activity.