Control of Aflatoxin Production by Targeting Aflatoxin Biosynthesis
Location: Food and Feed Safety Research
Title: Aspergillus flavus genetics and genomics in solving mycotoxin contamination of food and feed
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 9, 2010
Publication Date: December 5, 2012
Citation: Yu, J., Bhatnagar, D., Cleveland, T.E., Payne, G., Nierman, W.C., Bennett, J.W. 2012. Aspergillus flavus genetics and genomics in solving mycotoxin contamination of food and feed. In: Benkeblia, N. (ed). Omics Technologies: Tools for Food Science. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL. p. 367-402.
Interpretive Summary: Aspergilli are opportunistic fungal pathogens most commonly associated with diseases of crops, human and animal systems. The mechanisms that regulate production of secondary metabolites are not well understood. Genomics technology is a powerful tool in discovering genes and the mechanisms of genetic regulation in an organism. Genomics in Aspergillus flavus has been used in studying aflatoxin formation mechanisms of genetic regulation. In this chapter the current status and progress in genomics research, its applications, and future perspective for elimination of aflatoxin contamination in food and feed have been reviewed.
Aflatoxin contamination of agricultural commodities poses a potential risk to livestock and human health. It is not only a serious food safety concern, but it has also significant economic implications for the agricultural industry worldwide because of restrictions limiting the trade of contaminated crops. These concerns have lead to extensive studies on the occurrence, biosynthesis, and toxicity of aflatoxins. Over the last half century, intensive studies have been taken place on identification, characterization, toxicology, biosynthesis, genetics, and genetics regulation of aflatoxin biosythsis. In the last two decades, a major focus has been on understanding the genetic basis of aflatoxin biosynthesis. In the recent years, technological breakthroughs in large scale DNA sequencing has made it possible to study whole genome of Aspergillus flavus. Significant progress has been made in deciphering the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway, genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis, and the A. flavus genome structure. In this chapter, we summarize the current progress on the genetics and genomics of A. flavus in an attempt to solve aflatoxin contamination of food and feed.