Submitted to: Molecular Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/2007
Publication Date: 10/15/2007
Citation: Klich, M.A. 2007. Aspergillus flavus: the major producer of aflatoxin. Molecular Plant Pathology. 8(6):713-722. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Aspergillus flavus is an opportunistic pathogen of crops. It is important because it produces aflatoxin as a secondary metabolite in the seeds of a number of crops both before and after harvest. Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen that is highly regulated in most countries. In the field, aflatoxin is associated with drought-stressed oilseed crops including maize, peanut, cottonseed, and tree nuts. Under the right conditions, the fungus will grow and produce aflatoxin in almost any stored crop seed. In storage, aflatoxin can be controlled by maintaining available moisture at levels below that which will support growth of A. flavus. A number of field control measures are being utilized or explored, including: modification of cultural practices; development of resistant crops through molecular and proteomic techniques; competitive displacement using strains that do not produce aflatoxin; and development of field treatments that would block aflatoxin production.