|PAYNE, GARY - North Carolina State University|
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2009
Publication Date: 9/10/2010
Citation: Payne, G.A., Yu, J. 2010. Ecology, development and gene regulation in Aspergillus flavus. In: Machida, M. and Gomi, K. (eds) Aspergillus: Molecular Biology and Genomics. Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, UK. p. 157-171.
Technical Abstract: Aspergillus flavus is one of the most widely known species of Aspergillus. It was described as a species in 1809 and first reported as a plant pathogen in 1920. More recently, A. flavus has emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen and is now rec¬ognized as the second leading cause of aspergillo¬sis in humans. Aspergillus flavus is known best for its production of aflatoxin, one of the most potent naturally occurring compounds. This discovery launched the modern era of mycotoxicology, and lead to aflatoxin being one of the best character¬ized fungal secondary metabolites. Studies in the major aflatoxin producing species, A. flavus and A. parasiticus, and in A. nidulans, which produces the aflatoxin pathway intermediate sterigmatocystin, have revealed an elegant biosynthetic pathway and a complex network of regulatory controls. In this chapter we review the ecology, pathogenicity, and economic importance of A. flavus, and regula¬tory mechanisms that control its development and mycotoxin formation.