Submitted to: Federation of European Biochemical Societies Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2004
Publication Date: 3/26/2004
Citation: Yu, J., Bhatnagar, D., Cleveland, T.E. 2004. Completed sequence of aflatoxin pathway gene cluster in aspergillus parasiticus. Federation of European Biochemical Societies Letters. 564:126-130. Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxins are toxic and cancer-inducing compounds produced by fungal molds, such as Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. These compounds contaminate our food source such as corn, cotton, peanut, and tree nuts when the fungus infects crops. Discovery of all of the genes responsible for aflatoxin formation is absolutely necessary for the control or elimination of aflatoxin contamination in food and feed. The information obtained through genetic studies is significant and important to scientists and researchers for devising strategies to control aflatoxin contamination through genetic engineering of commercial crops.
Technical Abstract: A 82 kb Aspergillus parasiticus genomic DNA region representing the completed sequence of the well-organized aflatoxin pathway gene cluster has been sequenced and annotated. In addition to the 19 reported and characterized aflatoxin pathway genes and the 4 sugar utilization genes in this cluster, we report here the identification of 6 newly identified genes which are putatively involved in aflatoxin formation. The function of these genes, the cluster organization, and its significance in gene expression are discussed.