Mycobiota of Konya mold-ripened (Kuflu) Tulum cheese and the diversity of Penicillium roqueforti isolates
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Konya Kuflu Tulum cheese is a well-known variety of Turkish mold-ripened cheeses produced by cutting the mature Tulum cheese into pieces to allow the filamentous fungi to grow on its surface in the cool and humid atmosphere in cellars or caves. The aim of the present study was to determine the fungal flora of Kuflu cheese using 54 filamentous fungi and 8 yeasts that were isolated from 26 cheese samples. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing indicated that 53 of the mold isolates were Penicillium roqueforti and 1 was Cladosporium cladosporioides. The yeasts were identified as Pichia membranifaciens, Candida zeylanoides, Debaryomyces hansenii, and Geotrichum candidum. Morphological examination of the P. roqueforti isolates on various media revealed similar phenotypes among all but two isolates; however, (GTG)5 fingerprinting analysis indicated that the isolated P. roqueforti strains were highly similar in all but one case, which displayed a different pattern. To our knowledge, this study represents the first to conduct molecular methods for identification of fungi associated with Konya Kuflu Tulum cheese. In addition, the morphological and genetic diversities of the P. isolates are presented.