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Toxins 2017, 9(7), 218;

Genotypic Regulation of Aflatoxin Accumulation but Not Aspergillus Fungal Growth upon Post-Harvest Infection of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Seeds

Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
The United States Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Research Service, Crop Genetics and Breeding Research Unit, Tifton, GA 31793, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ana Calvo
Received: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Aflatoxin contamination is a major economic and food safety concern for the peanut industry that largely could be mitigated by genetic resistance. To screen peanut for aflatoxin resistance, ten genotypes were infected with a green fluorescent protein (GFP)—expressing Aspergillus flavus strain. Percentages of fungal infected area and fungal GFP signal intensity were documented by visual ratings every 8 h for 72 h after inoculation. Significant genotypic differences in fungal growth rates were documented by repeated measures and area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) analyses. SICIA (Seed Infection Coverage and Intensity Analyzer), an image processing software, was developed to digitize fungal GFP signals. Data from SICIA image analysis confirmed visual rating results validating its utility for quantifying fungal growth. Among the tested peanut genotypes, NC 3033 and GT-C20 supported the lowest and highest fungal growth on the surface of peanut seeds, respectively. Although differential fungal growth was observed on the surface of peanut seeds, total fungal growth in the seeds was not significantly different across genotypes based on a fluorometric GFP assay. Significant differences in aflatoxin B levels were detected across peanut genotypes. ICG 1471 had the lowest aflatoxin level whereas Florida-07 had the highest. Two-year aflatoxin tests under simulated late-season drought also showed that ICG 1471 had reduced aflatoxin production under pre-harvest field conditions. These results suggest that all peanut genotypes support A. flavus fungal growth yet differentially influence aflatoxin production. View Full-Text
Keywords: aflatoxin; Aspergillus flavus; peanut; GFP; SICIA aflatoxin; Aspergillus flavus; peanut; GFP; SICIA

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Korani, W.A.; Chu, Y.; Holbrook, C.; Clevenger, J.; Ozias-Akins, P. Genotypic Regulation of Aflatoxin Accumulation but Not Aspergillus Fungal Growth upon Post-Harvest Infection of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Seeds. Toxins 2017, 9, 218.

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