Amaike S, Keller NP
Annual review of phytopathology. 2011-01-01; 49.107-33.
Aspergillus flavus is saprophytic soil fungus that infects and contaminates preharvest and postharvest seed crops with the carcinogenic secondary metabolite aflatoxin. The fungus is also an opportunistic animal and human pathogen causing aspergillosis diseases with incidence increasing in the immunocompromised population. Whole genome sequences of A. flavus have been released and reveal 55 secondary metabolite clusters that are regulated by different environmental regimes and the global secondary metabolite regulators LaeA and VeA. Characteristics of A. flavus associated with pathogenicity and niche specialization include secondary metabolite production, enzyme elaboration, and a sophisticated oxylipin host crosstalk associated with a quorum-like development program. One of the more promising strategies in field control involves the use of atoxic strains of A. flavus in competitive exclusion studies. In this review, we discuss A. flavus as an agricultural and medical threat and summarize recent research advances in genomics, elucidation of parameters of pathogenicity, and control measures.
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