Marine-derived Penicillium in Korea : diversity, enzyme activity, and antifungal properties

Myung Soo PARK, Jonathan J. FONG, Seung Yoon OH, Kae Kyoung KWON, Jae Hak SOHN, Young Woon LIM

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The diversity of marine-derived Penicillium from Korea was investigated using morphological and multigene phylogenetic approaches, analyzing sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region, β-tubulin gene, and RNA polymerase subunit II gene. In addition, the biological activity of all isolated strains was evaluated. We tested for the extracellular enzyme activity of alginase, endoglucanase, and β-glucosidase, and antifungal activity against two plant pathogens ( Colletotrichum acutatum and Fusarium oxysporum ). A total of 184 strains of 36 Penicillium species were isolated, with 27 species being identified. The most common species were Penicillium polonicum (19.6 %), P. rubens (11.4 %), P. chrysogenum (11.4 %), and P. crustosum (10.9 %). The diversity of Penicillium strains isolated from soil (foreshore soil and sand) and marine macroorganisms was higher than the diversity of strains isolated from seawater. While many of the isolated strains showed alginase and β-glucosidase activity, no endoglucanase activity was found. More than half the strains (50.5 %) showed antifungal activity against at least one of the plant pathogens tested. Compared with other strains in this study, P. citrinum (strain SFC20140101-M662) showed high antifungal activity against both plant pathogens. The results reported here expand our knowledge of marine-derived Penicillium diversity. The relatively high proportion of strains that showed antifungal and enzyme activity demonstrates that marine-derived Penicillium have great potential to be used in the production of natural bioactive products for pharmaceutical and/or industrial use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-345
Number of pages15
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the MEBiC and CCMF of Marine BioResource Bank Program of the Ministry of Ocean & Fisheries, Korea.


  • Marine-derived fungi
  • Penicillium
  • Multi-gene phylogenetic approach
  • Alginase
  • Antifungal activity
  • β-Glucosidase


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