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Aflatoxin B1 Biosynthesis in Aspergillus

Linz, John; Calvo, Ana; Cary, Jeffrey; Reverberi, Massimo
Michigan State University
Start date
End date
Goals - understand the role of aflatoxin synthesis in redox signaling and stress response in Aspergillus.
Expected outputs include publications in nationally recognized journals and presentation of data at national and international meetins and symposia.
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Non-Technical Summary:
Aflatoxin is a toxin made by a mold that grows on food and feed crops. We are studying the role of oxidants and antioxidants in control of aflatoxin synthesis because we might be able to use these compounds to prevent aflatoxin synthesis on crops in the field or during storage.

We will measure accumulation of reactive oxygen species in endosomes under aflatoxin inducing and noninducing growth conditions. These measurements will be made using fluorescent dyes and microscopy on whole cells, protoplasts, and cell extracts. We will conduct similar studies on mutants that are deficient in specific steps in aflatoxin synthesis as well as in biogenesis of endosomes.

2012/01 TO 2012/12
OUTPUTS: Activities - we continue to conduct experiments in several major focus areas. 1) The role of the stress related transcription factor AtfB in regulation of stress response and secondary metabolism; 2) Utilization of plant and fungal volatiles to prevent aflatoxin biosynthesis in the laboratory and during crop storage; 3) The role of endosome biogenesis in stress response and secondary metabolism. Products - data generated from our experiments allowed us to expand our previously proposed model on the role of stress response in regulation of secondary metabolism.
PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.
TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.
PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

IMPACT: Although many investigators provided evidence of a regulatory link between stress response and secondary metabolism, our work contributed to understanding the specific molecular mechanisms that link these cellular processes. Specifically our work on the AtfB regulatory network and the role of endosomes in stress response and secondary metabolism in A. parasiticus provides novel insights into these specific regulatory mechanisms.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Natural Toxins