The Penicillium digitatum antifungal protein PdAfpB shows high activity against mycobiota involved in sliced bread spoilage
Food Microbiol. 2023 Feb;109:104142. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2022.104142. Epub 2022 Sep 14.
This study aimed to isolate and identify fungal species involved in sliced bread spoilage, and to evaluate their susceptibility to antifungal proteins of fungal origin (AFPs). Proteins include PdAfpB from Penicillium digitatum and PeAfpA, PeAfpB and PeAfpC from Penicillium expansum. Based on morphological criteria, a group of sixteen fungal isolates were selected and subsequently identified at the species level using sequence analysis. Penicillium species, the predominant mycobiota, were identified based on a combined phylogenetic analysis using ITS and β-tubulin sequences, being P. roqueforti, P. brevicompactum, P. chrysogenum and P. crustosum the most abundant species. Aspergillus versicolor, Aspergillus niger and Bissochlamys spectabilis were also identified. Regarding the antifungal activity of AFPs, PdAfpB and PeAfpA were the most potent proteins since the growth of most of tested fungi was completely inhibited by concentrations ranging from 2 to 32 μg/mL. PeAfpB showed moderate antifungal activity, whereas PeAfpC was the least active protein. The best in vitro AFPs, PdAfpB and PeAfpA, were also evaluated in in situ protection assays against P. roqueforti. PdAfpB provoked a clear reduction of P. roqueforti growth in sliced bread samples, suggesting that this AFP has a protective effect on bread. This study underlines the potential of the AFPs tested, in particular PdAfpB, as alternative antifungal agents for extending sliced bread shelf life.