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Geotrichum candidum is a common soil-borne fungus that causes sour-rot of tomatoes, citrus fruits and vegetables, and is a major contaminant on tomato processing equipment. The aim of this work was to produce a monoclonal antibody and diagnostic assay for its detection in tomato fruit and juice. Using hybridoma technology, a cell line (FE10) was generated that produced a monoclonal antibody belonging to the immunoglobulin class M (IgM) that was specific to G. candidum and the closely related teleomorphic species Galactomyces geotrichum and anamorphic species Geotrichum europaeum and Geotrichum pseudocandidum in the G. geotrichum/G. candidum complex. The MAb did not cross-react with a wide range of unrelated fungi, including some likely to be encountered during crop production and processing. The MAb binds to an immunodominant high molecular mass (> 200 kDa) extracellular polysaccharide antigen that is present on the surface of arthroconidia and hyphae of G. candidum. The MAb was used in a highly specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to accurately detect the fungus in infected tomato fruit and juice. Specificity of the ELISA was confirmed by sequencing of the internally transcribed spacer (ITS) 1-5.8S-ITS2 rRNA-encoding regions of fungi isolated from naturally-infected tomatoes.
University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom. C.R.Thornton@ex.ac.uk
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of food microbiology
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