A more modern way to distinguish species is to look at their DNA sequence. We have started to sequence entire genomes (the complete DNA sequence of an organism) but as yet this is still quite slow and requires a lot of effort and money to carry out - there has to be a quicker, cheaper, more flexible way to tell one species from another.
The ability to distinguish Aspergillus species is very important for several reasons including:
- to distinguish between medically important (i.e. potentially dangerous) and unimportant (safer) Aspergillus species in the air, in a clinic, in homes, in our lungs
- to distinguish between species likely to produce mycotoxin when growing on food or growing in damp buildings
- to improve taxonomy for scientific identification, speed up research, we will get a better idea of the numbers of different species in our environment e.g. in our drinking water