SEAMEO BIOTROP held a national training on isolation and identification of three fungi genus from division Ascomycota, namely Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces, on 28-31 August 2018 at its headquarter. This training was aimed to deliver knowledge in isolating and identifying Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces in food and fruit materials morphologically and molecularly as well as in applying the right species names especially for the important species existed in Indonesia. This activity also became a good opportunity to share and discuss participants’ knowledge and experiences in working with these three fungi species.
In his opening remarks, Dr Jess Fernandez, BIOTROP Deputy Director for Programme, said that Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces are the important fungi in human life, both positively and negatively. Giving the correct species names to Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces is also a way to guarantee product quality. Therefore, he emphasized that the training was quite essential for mycologists and others whose works are related to these fungi species, so that they can identify correctly based on the guideline from the International Commission on Penicillium and Aspergillus (ICPA) and the rule of ‘one fungus one name’ system.
The materials given were divided into class and practicum sessions which covered seven interesting topics, namely: 1) morphological characters of Ascomycota, 2) molecular approach in fungus systematics, 3) diversity of Penicillium and Aspergillus in food storage in Indonesia, 4) concept of fungus species and the impact of ‘one fungus one name’ system: Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces, 5) isolation and counting of fungi on foods and fruits, 6) fungi identification based on morphological characteristics, and 7) fungi identification based on molecular analysis.
The training featured Prof Robert A. Samson from Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Utrecht, the Netherlands, Prof Okky S. Dharmaputra from SEAMEO BIOTROP and Dr Gayuh Rahayu from Bogor Agricultural University as the resource persons. In the practicum sessions, they were assisted by four research assistants from the Centre.
About 24 participants from various universities, research institutions, companies and agricultural quarantine agency joined this activity.