Location: Corn Host Plant Resistance ResearchTitle: Integrated database for identifying candate genes for Aspergillus flavus resistance in maize) Author
Submitted to: BMC Bioinformatics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2010
Publication Date: 12/1/2010
Citation: Kelley, R.Y., Gresham, C., Harper, J., Bridges, S.M., Warburton, M.L., Hawkins, L.K., Pechanova, O., Peethambaran, B., Pechan, T., Luthe, D.S., Mylroie, J.E., Ankala, A., Ozkan, S., Henry, W.B., Williams, W.P. 2010. Integrated database for identifying candidate genes for Aspergillus flavus resistance in maize. BMC Bioinformatics. 11(6):S25. Interpretive Summary: Aspergillus flavus is a fungus that produces aflatoxin in many oilseed crops including corn. Aflatoxin is a cancer causing toxin that drastically reduces the value of grain on the world market. Therefore, understanding and controlling the accumulation of toxin produced by this fungus will help farmers enhance the value of grain. Different proteomic, genomic and genetic studies have been conducted with the goal of identifying corn germplasm links with resistance to A. flavus and aflatoxin accumulation. In order to maximize use of these different datasets, a database named The Corn Fungal Resistance Associated Sequences Database (CFRAS-DB) was created with the main goal of allowing all data types to be simultaneously queried to allow scientists to examine many lines of evidence and evaluate the potential role of a corn gene or a group of corn genes when exposed to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin production. This database will help in identification of molecular markers for resistance. These markers will expedite the production of corn hybrids with increased resistance to aflatoxin accumulation.
Technical Abstract: Aspergillus flavus Link:Fr, an opportunistic fungus that produces aflatoxin, is pathogenic to maize and other oilseed crops. Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen, and its presence markedly reduces the value of grain. Understanding and enhancing host resistance to A. flavus infection and/or subsequent aflatoxin accumulation is generally considered an efficient means of reducing grain losses to aflatoxin. Different proteomic, genomic and genetic studies of maize (Zea mays L.) have generated large data sets with the goal of identifying genes responsible for conferring resistance to A. flavus, or aflatoxin. In order to maximize use of the different data sets in new studies, including association mapping, we have constructed a database integrating the results of gene expression, proteomic, (both gel-based and shotgun), Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) genetic mapping studies and sequence data from the literature to facilitate selection of candidate genes for continued investigation. The Corn Fungal Resistance Associated Sequences Database (CFRAS-DB) was created with the main goals of creating a list of genes that are known to be important to aflatoxin resistance. The database and the associated web-based interface allow researchers to examine many lines of evidence to assess the potential role of a gene or group of genes in the response of different maize lines to A. flavus infection and subsequent production of aflatoxin by the fungus. This database provides the first opportunity to gather all data pertaining to the problem of A. flavus and aflatoxin resistance in maize into one place and perform simultaneous queries with the data. The web-based interface provides researchers with the capability to mine the database across many different experiments. Once it is made public, it is expected that more investigators will add their data to the database as well, thus increasing the value of the database further.