Penicillium Link, Mag. Gesell. naturf. Freunde, Berlin 3(1-2): 16 (1809)
Mycobank number: MB 9257; Index Fungorum number: IF 9257; Facesoffungi number: FoF 12565;
The genus is divided into two subgenera (Aspergilloides and Penicillium) and 32 sections and 89 series. (Houbraken et al.2022). Penicillium (Eurotiomycetes, Eurotiales, Aspergillaceae) is founded everywhere and isolated from many substrates, including soil, natural environment, plant material, indoor and outdoor air environments, various foodstuffs, and water (Grossart et al. 2019).
Species of Penicillium are ubiquitous and known to cause deterioration in fruits and bulbs of plants, including P. expansum link (apples and pears), P. digitatum Pers.Fr P. italicumWehmer, P. ulaiense. Hsieh (citrus fruits), P. tulipaeOvery & Frisvad (tulip bulbs), and P. allii Vincent & Pitt (garlic). (Valdez et al. 2006), and some species have a significant impact on human life as agents of food spoilage and causal agents of pre and devasting postharvest diseases on crops and their ability to produce a diverse range of mycotoxins. (Perrone and Susca. 2017), which can be a severe threat to the health of humans and animal’s life worldwide. Penicillium species also produce a wide range of extracellular enzymes that have a prominent role in the degradation of organic materials (Saif et al. 2020). Green mold and blue mold are caused by Penicillium digitatum Pers. sacc and Penicillium italicum indicate two important diseases respectively, in all citrus production during the fruit storage and marketing stages, Especially Post-harvest, green mold is the main factor affecting citrus rot, which leads to enlargement Economic losses worldwide for citrus fruits each year ( Citores et al. 2022). In the subtropical climate, Postharvest failures are more common. This plant pathogen can be isolated from many different hosts such as pears, strawberries, apples, tomatoes, corn, and rice, a diverse range of mycotoxins can be present in foods and feeds that are contaminated with Penicillium species (Perrone and Susca. 2017; Rundberget et al. 2004). Ochratoxin A and patulin are among the most dangerous mycotoxins that may occur in the food and feed process stages, such as plant growth, harvesting, drying development, transportation, and packaging. (Perrone and Susca. 2017; Otero et al. 2020).
They can cause acute and chronic diseases in humans and animals, such as carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, and immunosuppressant (Otero et al. 2020).
Penicillium is one of the first fungi that can grow on water-damaged materials and Causes allergic reactions, pneumonitis, hypersensitivity, and various severe pulmonary complications. Allergic sarcoidosis, fibrosis, or alveolitis may occur in susceptible individuals or patients who have been exposed for a long time (Refai, Mohamed, Abo El-Yazid, Jeidy, Tawakkol .2015). Penicillium species also have beneficial roles in human life due to their wide application in biotechnology and food production. Different species of Penicillium are known in the field of industry and medicine due to produce different anti-bacterial and anti-fungal antibiotics such as penicillin and griseofulvin, respectively, and they are used to make mold-fermented meat sausages and cheeses, Penicillium Roquefort Thom, Penicillium camemberti Thom, Penicillium nalgiovense laxa. are used to produce different cheeses, such as blue and white (Frisvad .2014). Several species of Penicillium produce enzymes used in industry, for example. Cellulases and xylanases Produced by Penicillium species have broad applications in food and feed. In addition, some species act as decomposers of dead materials and can be used to recycle waste materials. (Refai, Modamed, Abo El-Yazid, Jeidy, Tawakkol 2015).
The number of reported Penicillium species has more than doubled since 2000 and comprises about 483 until now. (Visagie et al. 2014; Houbraken et al. 2020). Section Fasciculata contains species found on stored or manufactured foods, rough-walled conidiophore stipes, and subglobose conidia, Species in this section can grow at low water activities and temperatures. (Houbraken et al. 2016). Section Fasciculata is subdivided into five series Camemberti, Corymbifera, Viridicata, Verrucosa, and Gladioli. nine species are currently accepted in the series Corymbifera, and most of those species strongly associate with flower bulbs and other plant roots. (Houbraken et al. 2020).