Illumina-Based Analysis Yields New Insights Into the Fungal Contamination Associated With the Processed Products of Crataegi Fructus
Front Nutr. 2022 May 12;9:883698. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.883698. eCollection 2022.
Crataegi Fructus, a medicinal and edible herb in China, has been considered a popular dietary supplement globally. It is used for the treatment of dyspepsia and chronic heart failure according to the Chinese Pharmacopoeia (2020). However, fungal contamination in Crataegi Fructus affects its quality and safety, thus preventing its global promotion. In this study, we comprehensively studied the fungal community in processed products of Crataegi Fructus by high-throughput sequencing. A total of 21 Crataegi Fructus samples were collected from five provinces in China, and the samples were divided into five groups based on collection areas, as well as into three groups based on processing methods. We then targeted the internal transcribed spacer 2 sequence through the Illumina Miseq PE300 platform to investigate fungal composition and diversity. Results showed that all 21 samples were detected with fungal contamination, and Ascomycota was dominant at the phylum level. In the groups based on collection areas, Dothideomycetes, Pleosporaceae, and Alternaria were dominant at the class, family, and genus levels, respectively. In the groups based on processing methods, Dothideomycetes, Aspergillaceae, and Alternaria were the most abundant at the class, family, and genus levels, respectively. Differences in fungal communities between various groups were also observed. Furthermore, a total of 115 species were identified, among which seven were potential toxigenic, namely, Trichothecium roseum, Alternaria tenuissima, Aspergillus carbonarius, Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Rhizopus microspores, and Pichia fermentans. In conclusion, this study reveals great fungal richness and diversity of Crataegi Fructus, providing references for the prevention and control of fungal contamination of Crataegi Fructus in practical production.