Submitted to: Multicrop Aflatoxin and Fumonisin Elimination and Fungal Genomics Workshop-The Peanut Foundation
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2003
Publication Date: 10/30/2003
Citation: Yu, J., Whitelaw, C.A., Cleveland, T.E., Bhatnagar, D., Nierman, W.C. 2003. Aspergillus flavus EST and microarray in identifying target genes for controlling aflatoxin contamination [abstract]. Multicrop Aflatoxin and Fumonisin Elimination and Fungal Genomics Workshop, The Peanut Foundation, October 13-15, 2003, Savannah, Georgia. Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic contaminants of cotton, corn, peanut, and tree nuts when the fungal molds, Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, infect those crops. Understanding of the genetic and biochemical mechanisms of aflatoxin formation will provide valuable information for the control or elimination of aflatoxin contamination of food and feed. A. flavus Expressed Sequenced Tag (EST) is a new technique that allows the rapid identification and functional elucidation of the toxin-producing factors in the fungal system. This information can be used for devising strategies to control aflatoxin contamination through genetic engineering of commercial crops.
Technical Abstract: Studies on the molecular mechanism of aflatoxin biosynthesis have led to the identification and sequencing of a completed aflatoxin pathway gene cluster of 70 kilobase pairs in length consisting of at least 25 identified genes. However, in order to better understand the molecular mechanism and regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis, plant-fungal interaction, and evolutionary biology of these toxigenic fungi, the Aspergillus flavus Expressed Sequenced Tag (EST) project has been carried out. A total of 7,214 unique EST sequences have been identified. Within the unique ESTs, we have identified many of the genes that may be involved directly or indirectly in aflatoxin formation, fungal virulence, and pathogenicity. Microarray containing all of these unique genes is being constructed. The application of EST/Microarray technologies will provide vital information for developing new strategies for control of aflatoxin contamination of crops.