Submitted to: Toxin Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2008
Publication Date: 5/21/2009
Citation: Luo, M., Brown, R.L., Chen, Z.-Y, Cleveland, T.E. 2009. Host Genes Involved in the Interaction between Aspergillus flavus and Maize. Toxin Reviews. 28(2):118-128. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Aflatoxin contamination caused by Aspergillus flavus is a major concern in maize production. Understanding the complex interrelationships of genes during the A. flavus-maize interaction may be the key to developing strategies to interrupt the aflatoxin contamination process. The A. flavus Genome Sequencing and Expressed Sequence Tags projects are providing opportunities to identify a number of candidate genes involved in plant invasion as well as aflatoxin biosynthesis. Many A. flavus hydrolase genes have been presumed to function in polymer degradation and nutrient capture. With the application of proteomics and genomics technology, many resistance-associated proteins and genes have also been identified by comparing resistant with susceptible maize lines. This research facilitates an understanding of defense mechanisms in maize kernels at physical and biochemical levels. Although environmental stress such as drought and high temperature has been observed to greatly enhance aflatoxin contamination of maize kernels, and the related genomics research has been initiated, more work needs to be done to determine the environmental impacts on gene expression in maize kernels.