<li>Identify key genes involved in regulation of oxidative stress, nitric oxide production, and nitrogen metabolism in A. nidulans and A. flavus whose expression are dependent on the presence of regulatory genes such as veA.</li>
<li>Determine role of these genes in regulation of biological activities such as fungal toxin production, morphogenesis, and virulence.</li>
Approach: Data acquired from A. flavus whole genome microarray/two-hybrid studies will be used to identify key genetic components of signaling pathways that control aflatoxin production and fungal morphogenesis. Using both A. flavus and the model fungus, A. nidulans, gene inactivation studies will determine the role of novel as well as previously characterized genes involved in fungal response to oxidative stress on toxin production and morphogenesis. The role of VeA and other regulatory proteins on production of hydrolytic enzymes involved in fungal pathogenesis of crop plants will be determined using molecular and biochemical techniques.