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The Stress Response Regulator AflSkn7 Influences Morphological Development, Stress Response, and Pathogenicity in the Fungus Aspergillus flavus

Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Fungi and Mycotoxins of Fujian Province, Key Laboratory of Biopesticide and Chemical Biology of the Education Ministry, and School of Life Sciences, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed to this work equally.
Academic Editor: Deepak Bhatnagar
Toxins 2016, 8(7), 202;
Received: 12 March 2016 / Revised: 22 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Aflatoxins)
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This study focused on AflSkn7, which is a stress response regulator in the aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus flavus. The ΔAflSkn7 mutants exhibited partially defective conidial formation and a complete inability to generate sclerotia, indicating AflSkn7 affects A. flavus asexual and sexual development. The mutants tolerated osmotic stress but were partially susceptible to the effects of cell wall stress. Additionally, the ΔAflSkn7 mutants were especially sensitive to oxidative stress. These observations confirmed that AflSkn7 influences oxidative stress responses rather than osmotic stress responses. Additionally, AflSkn7 was observed to increase aflatoxin biosynthesis and seed infection rates. These results indicate AflSkn7 affects A. flavus morphological development, stress response, aflatoxin production, and pathogenicity. The results of this study may facilitate the development of new methods to manage A. flavus infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aspergillus flavus; aflatoxins; development; stress response; pathogenicity Aspergillus flavus; aflatoxins; development; stress response; pathogenicity

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Zhang, F.; Xu, G.; Geng, L.; Lu, X.; Yang, K.; Yuan, J.; Nie, X.; Zhuang, Z.; Wang, S. The Stress Response Regulator AflSkn7 Influences Morphological Development, Stress Response, and Pathogenicity in the Fungus Aspergillus flavus. Toxins 2016, 8, 202.

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