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A Public Platform for the Verification of the Phenotypic Effect of Candidate Genes for Resistance to Aflatoxin Accumulation and Aspergillus flavus Infection in Maize
Toxins 2011, 3(7), 766-786; doi:10.3390/toxins3070766

Transcriptional Profiles Uncover Aspergillus flavus-Induced Resistance in Maize Kernels

2,* , 1
1 Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA 2 Southern Regional Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA 3 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Oyo Road, PMB 5320, Ibadan, Nigeria
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2011 / Revised: 23 June 2011 / Accepted: 23 June 2011 / Published: 29 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aflatoxins 2011)
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Aflatoxin contamination caused by the opportunistic pathogen A. flavus is a major concern in maize production prior to harvest and through storage. Previous studies have highlighted the constitutive production of proteins involved in maize kernel resistance against A. flavus’ infection. However, little is known about induced resistance nor about defense gene expression and regulation in kernels. In this study, maize oligonucleotide arrays and a pair of closely-related maize lines varying in aflatoxin accumulation were used to reveal the gene expression network in imbibed mature kernels in response to A. flavus’ challenge. Inoculated kernels were incubated 72 h via the laboratory-based Kernel Screening Assay (KSA), which highlights kernel responses to fungal challenge. Gene expression profiling detected 6955 genes in resistant and 6565 genes in susceptible controls; 214 genes induced in resistant and 2159 genes induced in susceptible inoculated kernels. Defense related and regulation related genes were identified in both treatments. Comparisons between the resistant and susceptible lines indicate differences in the gene expression network which may enhance our understanding of the maize-A. flavus interaction.
Keywords: Zea mays; Aspergillus flavus; imbibed kernels; aflatoxin; resistance genes Zea mays; Aspergillus flavus; imbibed kernels; aflatoxin; resistance genes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Luo, M.; Brown, R.L.; Chen, Z.-Y.; Menkir, A.; Yu, J.; Bhatnagar, D. Transcriptional Profiles Uncover Aspergillus flavus-Induced Resistance in Maize Kernels. Toxins 2011, 3, 766-786.

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