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Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Nov 15;29(10):981-5.

Oxidative stress as a prerequisite for aflatoxin production by Aspergillus parasiticus.

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Department of Biochemistry, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.


The relevance of free radical generation and oxidative stress with regard to aflatoxin production was examined by comparing the oxygen requirement and antioxidant status of a toxigenic strain of Aspergillus parasiticus with that of a nontoxigenic strain at early (trophophase) and late logarithmic (idiophase) growth phases. In comparison to the nontoxigenic strain, wherein the oxygen requirements were relatively unaltered at various growth phases, the toxigenic strain exhibited greater oxygen requirements at trophophase coinciding with onset of aflatoxin production. The activities of antioxidant enzymes such as xanthine oxidase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase and the mycelial contents of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances as well as of reduced glutathione were all enhanced during the progression of toxigenic strain from trophophase to idiophase. The combined results suggest that aflatoxin production by the toxigenic strain may be a consequence of increased oxidative stress leading to enhanced lipid peroxidation and free radical generation.

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