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Toxins (Basel). 2011 Jul;3(7):737-53. doi: 10.3390/toxins3070737. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Gene expression profiling and identification of resistance genes to Aspergillus flavus infection in peanut through EST and microarray strategies.

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Crop Protection and Management Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Tifton, GA, USA.


Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus infect peanut seeds and produce aflatoxins, which are associated with various diseases in domestic animals and humans throughout the world. The most cost-effective strategy to minimize aflatoxin contamination involves the development of peanut cultivars that are resistant to fungal infection and/or aflatoxin production. To identify peanut Aspergillus-interactive and peanut Aspergillus-resistance genes, we carried out a large scale peanut Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) project which we used to construct a peanut glass slide oligonucleotide microarray. The fabricated microarray represents over 40% of the protein coding genes in the peanut genome. For expression profiling, resistant and susceptible peanut cultivars were infected with a mixture of Aspergillusflavus and parasiticus spores. The subsequent microarray analysis identified 62 genes in resistant cultivars that were up-expressed in response to Aspergillus infection. In addition, we identified 22 putative Aspergillus-resistance genes that were constitutively up-expressed in the resistant cultivar in comparison to the susceptible cultivar. Some of these genes were homologous to peanut, corn, and soybean genes that were previously shown to confer resistance to fungal infection. This study is a first step towards a comprehensive genome-scale platform for developing Aspergillus-resistant peanut cultivars through targeted marker-assisted breeding and genetic engineering.


EST; A. parasiticus; Aspergillus flavus; gene profiling; metarep; microarray; peanut-fungus interaction; resistance genes

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