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Title: What can Aspergillus flavus genome offer for mycotoxin research?

item Yu, Jiujiang
item NIERMAN, WILLIAM - J Craig Venter Institute
item FEDOROVA, NATALIE - J Craig Venter Institute
item Bhatnagar, Deepak
item Cleveland, Thomas
item BENNETT, JOAN - Rutgers University

Submitted to: Mycological Society of China
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2011
Publication Date: 10/12/2011
Citation: Yu, J., Nierman, W.C., Fedorova, N.D., Bhatnagar, D., Cleveland, T.E., Bennett, J.W. 2011. What can Aspergillus flavus genome offer for mycotoxin research? Mycological Society of China. 2(3):218-236.

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 genetics and genomics are the basics for understanding the mechanism of aflatoxin production. In this book chapter we reported the current progress of the genetics and genomics. The consolidated information will help in devising strategies to reduce or eliminate aflatoxin contamination of food and feed.

Technical Abstract: The genomic study of filamentous fungi has made significant advances in recent years, and the genomes of several species in the genus Aspergillus have been sequenced, including Aspergillus flavus. This ubiquitous mold is present as a saprobe in a wide range of agricultural and natural habits, and can function as an opportunistic animal and plant pathogen. A. flavus produces many secondary metabolites including aflatoxins, aflatrem and cyclopiazonic acid. In this chapter, our main focus is on the current status of the genomics of A. flavus as well as on the potential applications of genomics-based approaches to understanding mycotoxin production and fungal pathogenicity. It is hoped that the results of A. flavus genomics and functional genomics studies will empower researchers to find effective controlling strategies to eliminate mycotoxin contamination in order to yield a safer and more abundant food and feed supply.