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Application of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis coupled with microchip electrophoresis for high-resolution identification of Monascus strains

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Monascus fungi are commonly used for a variety of food products in Asia, and are also known to produce some biologically active compounds. Since the use of Monascus is expected to increase in food industries, strain-level identification and management of Monascus will be needed in the near future. In the present study, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis coupled with microchip electrophoresis was applied for this purpose. Evaluations of the analysis stability revealed that reproducible results could be obtained, although template DNA fragmentation could influence the resulting RAPD pattern. RAPD analysis using 15 Monascus strains consisting of four species, M. ruber, M. pilosus, M. purpureus, and M. kaoliang showed that each strain generated a unique RAPD pattern, which allows strain-level identification of Monascus. In addition, the phylogenetic tree constructed from RAPD patterns reflected M. ruberM. pilosus and M. purpureusM. kaoliang clusters inferred from both ITS and β-tubulin gene sequences, which indicated that the RAPD pattern could reflect their phylogenetic traits to a certain extent. On the other hand, RAPD analysis did not support the monophyletic clustering of the four Monascus species used in this study, which suggests the necessity of reexamination of species boundaries in Monascus.

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We would like to thank Atsushi Akamine (Asahi Corporation, Naha, Okinawa, Japan) for valuable discussions and helpful advices. This work was supported in-part by the Program for the Promotion of Industry–University–Government Joint Research in Okinawa, and Okinawa Cutting-Edge Genome Project.

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Correspondence to Toru Matsui.

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Shinzato, N., Namihira, T., Tamaki, Y. et al. Application of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis coupled with microchip electrophoresis for high-resolution identification of Monascus strains. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 82, 1187–1193 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-009-1937-4

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  • Monascus
  • Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)
  • Microchip electrophoresis
  • Internal transcribed spacer
  • β-tubulin