Anal Biochem. 2022 Jun 1:114771. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2022.114771. Online ahead of print.
Penicillium is universal in dark tea, and Penicillium citrinum can produce a kidney toxin called citrinin (CIT). Determining CIT is difficult because of the complexity of the dark tea substrate and the diversity of CIT-producing fungi. Therefore, this study established a real-time PCR (qPCR) detection method for CIT-related synthetic genes (ctnD, orf1, ctnA, pksCT, orf5, orf7, and ctnG) in Liupao tea and determined the content of CIT in samples at different production stages and the toxin-producing abilities of fungi (Aspergillus oryzae, etc.) in Liupao tea. CIT was found in all samples during the pile-fermentation process of Liupao tea, and CIT was detected in two samples during the aging process. The established method demonstrated good sensitivity and specificity in detecting CIT-related synthetic genes. The reaction efficiency was within the preferred range of 100 ± 10%. CIT was not detected or was below the detection limit when the Ct value of one or more related synthetic genes was greater than 33.5. Therefore, the established qPCR method can effectively predict the production of CIT in Liupao tea, and it is applicable to the judgment of whether fungi produce CIT.