Absence of aflatoxin biosynthesis in koji mold (Aspergillus sojae)
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Ten strains isolated from industrial soy sauce producing koji mold were identified as Aspergillus sojae and distinguished from Aspergillus parasiticus morphologically and physiologically. There was no detectable aflatoxin in any culture extracts of A. sojae strains. Strain 477 was chosen as a representative strain of industrial A. sojae for further molecular analysis. All enzymatic activities associated with the aflatoxin biosynthesis were not detected or negligible in strain 477 compared with that of the A. parasiticus strain. Southern analysis suggested that the genomic DNA of strain 477 contained aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway genes. In contrast, all industrial strains lacked detectable transcripts of aflR, the main regulatory gene for aflatoxin biosynthesis, under the aflatoxin-inducing condition. Our data suggest that defects in aflR expression cause the lack of expression of aflatoxin-related genes which results in the absence of aflatoxin biosynthesis in A. sojae strains.
KeywordsMold Aspergillus Aflatoxin Biosynthetic Pathway Pathway Gene
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