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Toxins 2011, 3(6), 647-659;

Control of Aflatoxin Production of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus Using RNA Silencing Technology by Targeting aflD (nor-1) Gene

Applied Mycology Group, Cranfield Health, Vincent Building, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK
Current address—School of Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, OX3 0BP, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 15 June 2011 / Published: 17 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aflatoxins 2011)
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Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are important pathogens of cotton, corn, peanuts and other oil-seed crops, producing toxins both in the field and during storage. We have designed three siRNA sequences (Nor-Ia, Nor-Ib, Nor-Ic) to target the mRNA sequence of the aflD gene to examine the potential for using RNA silencing technology to control aflatoxin production. Thus, the effect of siRNAs targeting of two key genes in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway, aflD (structural) and aflR (regulatory gene) and on aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), and aflatoxin G1 (AFG1) production was examined. The study showed that Nor-Ib gave a significant decrease in aflD mRNA, aflR mRNA abundance, and AFB1 production (98, 97 and 97% when compared to the controls) in A. flavus NRRL3357, respectively. Reduction in aflD and aflR mRNA abundance and AFB1 production increased with concentration of siRNA tested. There was a significant inhibition in aflD and AFB1 production by A. flavus EGP9 and AFG1 production by A. parasiticus NRRL 13005. However, there was no significant decrease in AFG1 production by A. parasiticus SSWT 2999. Changes in AFB1 production in relation to mRNA levels of aflD showed a good correlation (R = 0.88; P = 0.00001); changes in aflR mRNA level in relation to mRNA level of aflD also showed good correlation (R = 0.82; P = 0.0001). The correlations between changes in aflR and aflD gene expression suggests a strong relationship between these structural and regulatory genes, and that aflD could be used as a target gene to develop efficient means for aflatoxin control using RNA silencing technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: siRNA; aflD (nor-1) gene; aflR gene; aflatoxin; real-time PCR siRNA; aflD (nor-1) gene; aflR gene; aflatoxin; real-time PCR

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Abdel-Hadi, A.M.; Caley, D.P.; Carter, D.R.F.; Magan, N. Control of Aflatoxin Production of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus Using RNA Silencing Technology by Targeting aflD (nor-1) Gene. Toxins 2011, 3, 647-659.

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