Aspergillus flavus genomics: Gateway to human and animal health, food safety, and crop resistance to diseases

Jiujiang Yu, Thomas E. Cleveland, William C. Nierman, Joan W. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aspergillus flavus is an imperfect filamentous fungus that is an opportunitic pathogen causing invasive and non-invasive aspergillosis in humans, animals, and insects. It also causes allergic reactions in humans. A. flavus infects agricultural crops and stored grains and produces the most toxic and potent carcinogic metabolites such as aflatoxins and other mycotoxins. Breakthroughs in A. flavus genomics may lead to improvement in human health, food safety, and agricultural economy. The availability of A. flavus genomic data marks a new era in research for fungal biology, medical mycology, agricultural ecology, pathogenicity, mycotoxin biosynthesis, and evolution. The availability of whole genome microarrays has equipped scientists with a new powerful tool for studying gene expression under specific conditions. They can be used to identify genes responsible for mycotoxin biosynthesis and for fungal infection in humans, animals and plants. A. flavus genomics is expected to advance the development of therapeutic drugs and to provide information for devising strategies in controlling diseases of humans and other animals. Further, it will provide vital clues for engineering commercial crops resistant to fungal infection by incorporating antifungal genes that may prevent aflatoxin contamination of agricultural harvest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-202
Number of pages9
JournalRevista Iberoamericana de Micologia
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

Keywords

  • Aflatoxicosis
  • Aflatoxins
  • Aspergillosis
  • Crop resistance
  • Food Safety
  • Mycotoxins

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