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J Appl Microbiol. 2003;94(6):953-61.

Metal ion enhancement of fungal growth, gene expression and aflatoxin synthesis in Aspergillus flavus: RT-PCR characterization.

Author information

1
Prairie View A & M University, CARC, PO BOX 685, Prairie View, TX 77446, USA. olimpa@aol.com

Abstract

AIMS:

To determine the effect of mineral ions (e.g., Zn2+, Cu2+, and Fe2+) on the enhancement of fungal growth, total RNA, aflatoxin pathway gene expression, and production of aflatoxin and its precursor O-methylsterigmatocystin (OMST).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The influence of the metal ions, as a single or mixed treatments, was observed in submerged cultures of toxigenic Aspergillus flavus through changes in the fungal RNA or aflatoxin pathway gene (omtA) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) levels, and also in fungal dry-weight accumulation, aflatoxin and OMST production.

CONCLUSIONS:

The ion treatments induced changes of fungal total RNA, mRNA levels, associate fungal growth, biosynthesis of aflatoxin and OMST, and enhanced expression of RT-PCR.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY:

Demonstrates at the cellular and molecular level, the significant effects of metal ions on both fungal growth and production of aflatoxin.

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