|Kim, Jong Heon|
Submitted to: Mycotoxin Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2005
Publication Date: 1/15/2006
Citation: Yu, J., Cleveland, T.E., Wilkinson, J.R., Campbell, B.C., Kim, J.H., Kim, H.S., Bhatnagar, D., Payne, G.A., Nierman, W.C. 2006. Aspergillus flavus expressed sequence tags and microarray as tools in understanding aflatoxin biosynthesis. Mycotoxin Research. 22(1):16-21. Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxins are toxic and cancer inducing compounds produced by fungal molds. It contaminates agricultural food and feed commodities. Due to health risk to human and animal and economic losses caused by aflatoxin contamination, studies on the mechanism of aflatoxin formation in genomic scale is necessary for devising strategies to control aflatoxin contamination. Information obtained through fungal genomics could provide such valuable information.
Technical Abstract: 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.