A variety of previously established mechanical and chemical treatments to achieve fungal cell lysis combined with a semiautomatic system operated by a vacuum pump were tested to obtain DNA extract to be directly used in randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)–PCR to differentiate cyclopiazonic acid–producing and –nonproducing mold strains. A DNA extraction method that includes digestion with proteinase K and lyticase prior to using a mortar and pestle grinding and a semiautomatic vacuum system yielded DNA of high quality in all the fungal strains and species tested, at concentrations ranging from 17 to 89 ng/μl in 150 μl of the final DNA extract. Two microliters of DNA extracted with this method was directly used for RAPD-PCR using primer (GACA)4. Reproducible RAPD fingerprints showing high differences between producer and nonproducer strains were observed. These differences in the RAPD patterns did not differentiate all the strains tested in clusters by cyclopiazonic acid production but may be very useful to distinguish cyclopiazonic acid producer strains from nonproducer strains by a simple RAPD analysis. Thus, the DNA extracts obtained could be used directly without previous purification and quantification for RAPD analysis to differentiate cyclopiazonic acid producer from nonproducer mold strains. This combined analysis could be adaptable to other toxigenic fungal species to enable differentiation of toxigenic and nontoxigenic molds, a procedure of great interest in food safety.

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