Expression Profiling of Non-Aflatoxigenic Aspergillus parasiticus Mutants Obtained by 5-Azacytosine Treatment or Serial Mycelial Transfer.


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Aflatoxins are carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Previous studies found that repeated serial mycelial transfer or treatment of A. parasiticus with 5-azacytidine produced colonies with a fluffy phenotype and inability to produce aflatoxins. To understand how these treatments affect expression of genes involved in aflatoxin production and development, we carried out expressed sequence tag (EST)-based microarray assays to identify genes in treated clones that are differentially expressed compared to the wild-type. Expression of 183 genes was significantly dysregulated. Of these, 38 had at least two-fold or lower expression compared to the untreated control and only two had two-fold or higher expression. The most frequent change was downregulation of genes predicted to encode membrane-bound proteins. Based on this result we hypothesize that the treatments cause changes in the structure of cellular and organelle membranes that prevent normal development and aflatoxin biosynthesis.


DOI: 10.3390/toxins3080932

PubMed ID: 22069749