, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 1308-1319
Date: 11 Jan 2007

Amino acid supplementation reveals differential regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus NRRL 3357 and Aspergillus parasiticus SRRC 143

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Aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. To better understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate aflatoxin production, the biosynthesis of the toxin in A. flavus and A. parasticus grown in yeast extract sucrose media supplemented with 50 mM tryptophan (Trp) were examined. Aspergillus flavus grown in the presence of 50 mM tryptophan was found to have significantly reduced aflatoxin B1 and B2 biosynthesis, while A. parasiticus cultures had significantly increased B1 and G1 biosynthesis. Microarray analysis of RNA extracted from fungi grown under these conditions revealed 77 genes that are expressed significantly different between A. flavus and A. parasiticus, including the aflatoxin biosynthetic genes aflD (nor-1), aflE (norA), and aflO (omtB). It is clear that the regulatory mechanisms of aflatoxin biosynthesis in response to Trp in A. flavus and A. parasiticus are different. These candidate genes may serve as regulatory factors of aflatoxin biosynthesis.