GENETICS AND PHYSIOLOGY OF AFLATOXIN BIOSYNTHESIS

Conserved Regulatory Mechanisms Controlling Aflatoxin and Sterigmatocystin Biosynthesis ..

Genetic and Molecular Analysis of Aflatoxin Biosynthesis ..

AB - Sterigmatocystin (ST) and the aflatoxins (AFs), related fungal secondary metabolites, are among the most toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic natural products known. The ST biosynthetic pathway in Aspergillus nidulans is estimated to involve at least 15 enzymatic activities, while certain Aspergillus parasiticus, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus nomius strains contain additional activities that convert ST to AF. We have characterized a 60-kb region in the A. nidulans genome and find it contains many, if not all, of the genes needed for ST biosynthesis. This region includes verA, a structural gene previously shown to be required for ST biosynthesis, and 24 additional closely spaced transcripts ranging in size from 0.6 to 7.2 kb that are coordinately induced only under ST-producing conditions. Each end of this gene cluster is demarcated by transcripts that are expressed under both ST- inducing and non-ST-inducing conditions. Deduced polypeptide sequences of regions within this cluster had a high percentage of identity with enzymes that have activities predicted for ST/AF biosynthesis, including a polyketide synthase, a fatty acid synthase (α and β subunits), five monooxygenases, four dehydrogenases, an esterase, an O-methyltransferase, a reductase, an oxidase, and a zinc cluster DNA binding protein. A revised system for naming the genes of the ST pathway is presented.

(1976) [Occurrence of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2, ochratoxins A and B, sterigmatocystin and zearalenone in cereals].

genes for aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin biosynthesis in ..

Ethylene, a biologically active natural compound, inhibited aflatoxin accumulation by Aspergillus parasiticus on a solid growth medium in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 0.1 to 150 ppm. The activity of the nor-1 promoter (an early aflatoxin gene) was reduced to nondetectable levels by similar quantities of ethylene, suggesting that the inhibitory effect on toxin synthesis occurred, at least in part, at the level of transcription. The inhibitory effect of ethylene on aflatoxin accumulation was also observed when A. parasiticus was grown on raw peanuts. Under similar growth conditions and doses, ethylene strongly inhibited development of asci and ascospores in Aspergillus nidulans, with no detectable effect on Hülle cell formation, conidiation, or sterigmatocystin accumulation. During early growth, A. parasiticus and A. nidulans produced ethylene with approximately twofold higher quantities measured in continuous light than in the dark. 1-Methylcyclopropene (an inhibitor of ethylene receptors in plants), light, CO2, temperature, and growth medium composition altered the effect of ethylene on A. nidulans and A. parasiticus. These observations are consistent with the existence of an ethylene sensor molecule that mediates the function of an ethylene-responsive signaling pathway(s) in Aspergillus.

Genetics and biosynthesis of aflatoxins and sterigmatocystin.

Studies using the model organism A. nidulans, which produces the AF precursor sterigmatocystin (ST), have led to a better understanding of the biosynthetic steps involved in AF production (). The fact that the mycotoxin gene clusters from A. nidulans and A. parasiticus have high homology () has also been helpful in the study of AF/ST synthesis and regulation.

Understanding aflatoxin biosynthesis is the focus of a large ..


Genetics and Biosynthesis of Aflatoxins and ..

N2 - Ethylene, a biologically active natural compound, inhibited aflatoxin accumulation by Aspergillus parasiticus on a solid growth medium in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 0.1 to 150 ppm. The activity of the nor-1 promoter (an early aflatoxin gene) was reduced to nondetectable levels by similar quantities of ethylene, suggesting that the inhibitory effect on toxin synthesis occurred, at least in part, at the level of transcription. The inhibitory effect of ethylene on aflatoxin accumulation was also observed when A. parasiticus was grown on raw peanuts. Under similar growth conditions and doses, ethylene strongly inhibited development of asci and ascospores in Aspergillus nidulans, with no detectable effect on Hülle cell formation, conidiation, or sterigmatocystin accumulation. During early growth, A. parasiticus and A. nidulans produced ethylene with approximately twofold higher quantities measured in continuous light than in the dark. 1-Methylcyclopropene (an inhibitor of ethylene receptors in plants), light, CO2, temperature, and growth medium composition altered the effect of ethylene on A. nidulans and A. parasiticus. These observations are consistent with the existence of an ethylene sensor molecule that mediates the function of an ethylene-responsive signaling pathway(s) in Aspergillus.

research on the genetics and biochemistry of aflatoxin ..

AB - Ethylene, a biologically active natural compound, inhibited aflatoxin accumulation by Aspergillus parasiticus on a solid growth medium in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 0.1 to 150 ppm. The activity of the nor-1 promoter (an early aflatoxin gene) was reduced to nondetectable levels by similar quantities of ethylene, suggesting that the inhibitory effect on toxin synthesis occurred, at least in part, at the level of transcription. The inhibitory effect of ethylene on aflatoxin accumulation was also observed when A. parasiticus was grown on raw peanuts. Under similar growth conditions and doses, ethylene strongly inhibited development of asci and ascospores in Aspergillus nidulans, with no detectable effect on Hülle cell formation, conidiation, or sterigmatocystin accumulation. During early growth, A. parasiticus and A. nidulans produced ethylene with approximately twofold higher quantities measured in continuous light than in the dark. 1-Methylcyclopropene (an inhibitor of ethylene receptors in plants), light, CO2, temperature, and growth medium composition altered the effect of ethylene on A. nidulans and A. parasiticus. These observations are consistent with the existence of an ethylene sensor molecule that mediates the function of an ethylene-responsive signaling pathway(s) in Aspergillus.

growth and/or aflatoxin/sterigmatocystin biosynthesis.

Seed contamination with polyketide mycotoxins, including aflatoxin (AF) and sterigmatocystin (ST) produced by Aspergillus spp., is an agricultural, economic, and medical issue worldwide. Acetyl-CoA, the fundamental building block of all known fungal polyketides, is generated by a large number of biochemical pathways, including β-oxidation of fatty acids and glycolysis of sugars. We present several lines of evidence to support a major role for seed fatty acids in formation of AF and ST in A. flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. nidulans. Aspergillus strains exhibiting canonical signs of oleic acid-induced peroxisome proliferation, including increased catalase activity, β-oxidation gene expression, and peroxisomal clustering, also exhibited a marked increase in toxin gene expression and biosynthesis. Furthermore, microscopic observations showed that the ST and AF precursor norsolorinic acid accumulated in peroxisomes of all three Aspergilli. While a peroxisomal β-oxidation mutation eliminated oleic acid-induced increases in ST in A. nidulans, a mitochondrial β-oxidation mutation played a larger role in eliminating ST formation on oatmeal medium and on live corn kernels, implicating a fundamental role for both peroxisomal and mitochondrial β-oxidation in toxin production.