Location: Food and Feed Safety ResearchTitle: RNA-seq Analysis of Aspergillus flavus during infection of resistant and susceptible cultivars of maize reveals gene networks correlating with host resistance
Submitted to: Fungal Genetics Conference/Asilomar
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Aspergillus flavus is an opportunistic fungus that can infect maize and other crops of agricultural importance. This fungus survives in soil and upon infecting crops has the potential to produce carcinogenic mycotoxins such as aflatoxin. Cultivars of maize that are more resistant to infection by A. flavus have been developed through breeding programs and are an important part of the multi-layer approach to mitigating food and feed contamination. Here we report the results of transcriptomic and gene network analysis of A. flavus during infection of resistant and susceptible maize kernels at several time points representing early, mid and late stages of infection. RNA-Seq and weighted gene co-expression network analysis of the data reveals gene networks that are important during crop infection and how these networks differ based on host resistance. Understanding the molecular processes involved in host infection is needed to identify potential gene targets in A. flavus for use in remediation efforts such as host-induced gene targeting.