Molecular profile of non-aflatoxigenic phenotype in native strains of Aspergillus flavus.
Arch Microbiol. 2020 Feb 15;:
Authors: Rao KR, Vipin AV, Venkateswaran G
Aflatoxins are the most common mycotoxin contaminant reported in food and feed. Aflatoxin B1, the most toxic among different aflatoxins, is known to cause hepatocellular carcinoma in animals. Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus are the main producers of aflatoxins and are widely distributed in tropical countries. Even though several robust strategies have been in use to control aflatoxin contamination, the control at the pre-harvest level is primitive and incompetent. Therefore, the aim of the study was to isolate and identify the non-aflatoxigenic A. flavus and to delineate the molecular mechanism for the loss of aflatoxin production by the non-aflatoxigenic isolates. Eighteen non-aflatoxigenic strains were isolated from various biological sources using cultural and analytical methods. Among the 18 isolates, 8 isolates produced sclerotia and 17 isolates had type I deletion in norB-cypA region. The isolates were confirmed as A. flavus using gene-specific PCR and sequencing of the ITS region. Later, aflatoxin gene-specific PCR revealed that the defect in one or more genes has led to non-aflatoxigenic phenotype. The strain R9 had maximum defect, and genes avnA and verB had the highest frequency of defect among the non-aflatoxigenic strains. Further, qRT-PCR confirmed that the non-aflatoxigenic strains had high frequency of defect or downregulation in the late pathway genes compared to early pathway genes. Thus, these non-aflatoxigenic strains can be the potential candidates for an effective and proficient strategy for the control of pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination.
PMID: 32062689 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]