Submitted to: Peanut Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2008
Publication Date: 4/24/2009
Citation: Guo, B., Yu, J., Holbrook Jr, C.C., Cleveland, T.E., Nierman, W.C., Scully, B.T. 2009. Strategies in prevention of preharvest aflatoxin contamination in peanuts: Aflatoxin biosynthesis, genetics and genomics. Peanut Science. 36:11-20.
Interpretive Summary: Throughout the world, aflatoxin contamination is considered one of the most serious food and feed safety issues. Chronic problems with aflatoxin contamination occur in the Southern US, and is particularly troublesome in peanut, corn, cottonseed, and tree nuts. However, the impact of aflatoxin contamination on the agricultural economy is especially devastating during drought years when aflatoxin affects the more northern areas including the Midwestern corn belt. The mechanisms of aflatoxin formation, pathogenicity of the fungus, host crop resistance, and control strategies were reviewed, along with recent research on crop-fungus interaction using microarray by gene expression profiling. The fungal and host crop genetics and genomics will contribute greatly to the accomplishment of this goal and could provide vital information for devising novel strategies to eliminate pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination.
Technical Abstract: The peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), or groundnut, is an important crop economically and nutritionally worldwide. It is also one of the most susceptible host crops to Aspergillus flavus resulting in aflatoxin contamination. The reduction and elimination of aflatoxin contamination in pre-harvest and post-harvest crops is a serious challenge facing scientists today. The recent International Conference on Groundnut Aflatoxin Management and Genomics held in Guangzhou, China, provided an international forum for discussions on the latest accomplishments, the development of strategies and the initiative of cooperative research for the prevention of aflatoxin contamination. We have reviewed the progress in genetic and genomic research of peanut crop and the toxin-producing pathogen Aspergillus flavus, in particular, the aflatoxin pathway and genetic regulation, and the peanut-Aspergillus interaction. The use of peanut-Aspergillus microarray will help advance scientists an upper edge in studying crop-pathogen interaction, aid in the identification of genes involved in both fungal invasion and crop resistance, and ultimately enhance our research for solutions that prevent aflatoxin contamination in agricultural commodities.