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Open AccessArticle

RNA Sequencing of Contaminated Seeds Reveals the State of the Seed Permissive for Pre-Harvest Aflatoxin Contamination and Points to a Potential Susceptibility Factor

1
Department of Horticulture and Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics, The University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
2
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, The University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
3
USDA-ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory, Dawson, GA 39842, USA
4
USDA-ARS, Crop Genetics and Breeding Res. Unit, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shohei Sakuda
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins8110317
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 28 October 2016 / Published: 3 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Aflatoxins)
Pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination (PAC) is a major problem facing peanut production worldwide. Produced by the ubiquitous soil fungus, Aspergillus flavus, aflatoxin is the most naturally occurring known carcinogen. The interaction between fungus and host resulting in PAC is complex, and breeding for PAC resistance has been slow. It has been shown that aflatoxin production can be induced by applying drought stress as peanut seeds mature. We have implemented an automated rainout shelter that controls temperature and moisture in the root and peg zone to induce aflatoxin production. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), seeds meeting the following conditions were selected: infected with Aspergillus flavus and contaminated with aflatoxin; and not contaminated with aflatoxin. RNA sequencing analysis revealed groups of genes that describe the transcriptional state of contaminated vs. uncontaminated seed. These data suggest that fatty acid biosynthesis and abscisic acid (ABA) signaling are altered in contaminated seeds and point to a potential susceptibility factor, ABR1, as a repressor of ABA signaling that may play a role in permitting PAC. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arachis hypogaea; Aspergillus; aflatoxin; RNA-seq; non-coding RNA; uHPLC Arachis hypogaea; Aspergillus; aflatoxin; RNA-seq; non-coding RNA; uHPLC
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Clevenger, J.; Marasigan, K.; Liakos, V.; Sobolev, V.; Vellidis, G.; Holbrook, C.; Ozias-Akins, P. RNA Sequencing of Contaminated Seeds Reveals the State of the Seed Permissive for Pre-Harvest Aflatoxin Contamination and Points to a Potential Susceptibility Factor. Toxins 2016, 8, 317.

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