Aflatoxins are the most toxic and carcinogenic naturally occurring mycotoxins. They are produced primarily by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. In order to better understand the molecular mechanisms that control aflatoxin production, identification of genes using A. flavus expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and microarrays is currently being performed. Sequencing and annotation of A. flavus ESTs from a normalized A. flavus cDNA library identified 7,218 unique EST sequences. Genes that are putatively involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis, regulation and signal transduction, fungal virulence or pathogenicity, stress response or antioxidation, and fungal development were identified from these ESTs. Microarrays containing over 5,000 unique A. flavus gene amplicons were constructed at The Institute for Genomic Research. Gene expression profiling under aflatoxin-producing and non-producing conditions using this microarray has identified hundreds of genes that are potentially involved in aflatoxin production. Further investigations on the functions of these genes by gene knockout experiments are underway. This research is expected to provide information for developing new strategies for controlling aflatoxin contamination of agricultural commodities.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 Mar|
- Aflatoxin biosynthesis
- Aspergillus flavus
ASJC Scopus subject areas