Molecular and physiological aspects of aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin biosynthesis by Aspergillus tamari and A

Author(s): Klich MA, Mullaney EJ, Daly CB, Cary JW


Until recently, only three species (Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus and A. nomius) have been widely recognized as producers of aflatoxin. In this study we examine aflatoxin production by two other species, A. tamarii and A. ochraceoroseus, the latter of which also produces sterigmatocystin. Toxin-producing strains of A. tamarii and A. ochraceoroseus were examined morphologically, and toxin production was assayed on different media at different pH levels using thin layer chromatography and a densitometer. Genomic DNA of these two species was probed with known aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin biosynthesis genes from A. flavus, A. parasiticus and A. nidulans. Under the high stringency conditions, A. tamarii DNA hybridized to all four of the A. flavus and A. parasiticus gene probes, indicating strong similarities in the biosynthetic pathway genes of these three species. The A. ochraceoroseus DNA hybridized weakly to the A. flavus and A. parasiticus verB gene probe, and to two of the three A. nidulans probes. These data indicate that, at the DNA level, the aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin biosynthetic pathway genes for A. ochraceoroseus are somewhat different from known pathway genes.

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