Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2006
Publication Date: 8/20/2008
Citation: Payne, G.A., Yu, J., Nierman, W.C., Machida, M., Bhatnagar, D., Cleveland, T.E., Dean, R.A. 2008. A first glance into the genome sequence of Aspergillus flavus. In: Osmani, S. and Goldman, G. (eds). The Aspergilli: Genomics, Medical Aspects, Biotechnology, and Research Methods, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. pp. 15-23.
Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxins are natural secondary metabolites produced by the fungal mold Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Contamination of agricultural commodities by aflatoxins poses serious health hazard to animals and human beings. Due to health and food safety concern, the mechanism of aflatoxin formation and prevention of aflatoxin contamination have been investigated in great detail. Aspergillus flavus genomics such as expressed sequenced tags (EST), gene chip technologies, and whole genome sequencing strategies promises effective control strategy being developed through biotechnology. In this book chapter, we reported the current progress of our genomics programs. Aspergillus flavus genomics will help our understanding in the mechanism of aflatoxin formation for devising strategies to reduce or eliminate aflatoxin contamination of food and feed.
Technical Abstract: Aflatoxins, produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, are toxic and carcinogenic metabolites. They contaminate agricultural crops before harvest and post harvest grains during storage. In order to reduce and eliminate aflatoxin contamination of food and feed, Aspergillus flavus genomics programs have been initiated in collaboration with national and international research institutions. In this chapter, we reviewed the research progress on fungal biology, field ecology, structural genomics, comparative genomics, and functional genomics. This information will help international researchers to take proper course in their studies to solve the aflatoxin contamination problem. The future prospects are also discussed.