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Population Structure of Aspergillus Flavus Communities in Wisconsin

Cotty, Peter
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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The objectives of the current cooperative research project are to develop improved information on gene flow among communities of aflatoxin-producing fungi associated with crops, movement of these fungi between high-risk southern regions and low-risk northern regions, and processes of adaptation and divergence within geographically separate populations. The work is expected to provide insights on potential processes through which populations of aflatoxin-producing fungi respond to periodic droughts and/or climate change and thereby provide insights useful in the development of techniques to management aflatoxins.

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Genetic variability within Aspergillus flavus populations will be assessed with microsatellite loci backed up with analyses to identify Vegetative Compatibility Groups in order to determine both the distribution of clonal lineages between regions and extents of gene flow within the latitudinal transect that includes both Texas and Wisconsin. Population isolation and adaptation to evolutionary pressures differential between the regions will be sought. The proposed work will differentiate 1) movement of aflatoxin producers from regions with perennial contamination into the northern production areas, and 2) increases in locally adapted perennial populations.

Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
ARS (NP108)
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