Molecular characterization of an Aspergillus flavus population isolated from maize during the first outbreak of aflatoxin contamination in Italy

Paola Battilani, Antonia Gallo, Gaetano Stea, Antonio F. Logrieco, Giancarlo Perrone

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

34 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

An Aspergillus population (67 strains), isolated from maize in 2003, during the first outbreak of aflatoxin contamination documented in Northern Italy, was characterised according to gene sequencing data. All strains were identified as A. flavus by sequencing of β-tubulin and calmodulin gene fragments. Furthermore, the strains were analysed for the presence of seven aflatoxin biosynthesis genes in relation to their capability to produce aflatoxin B1, targeting the regulatory genes aflR and aflS, and the structural genes aflD, aflM, aflO, aflP, and aflQ. The strains were placed into four groups based on their patterns of amplification products: group I (40 strains) characterised by presence of all seven amplicons; groups II (two strains) and III (nine strains), showing four (AflM, aflP, aflO, and aflQ) and three (aflO, aflP, aflQ) amplicons, respectively; and group IV (16 strains) characterised by total absence of PCR products. Only group I contained strains able to produce aflatoxin B1 (37 out of 40), whereas the strains belonging to the other groups and lacking three, four or all seven PCR products were non-producers. The results obtained in this study pointed out that A. flavus was the only species responsible for aflatoxin contamination in Northern Italy in 2003, and that the aflatoxin gene cluster variability existing in populations can be useful for understanding the toxicological risk as well as the selection of biocontrol agents.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)198-206
Numero di pagine9
RivistaPhytopathologia Mediterranea
Volume2012/51
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012

Keywords

  • PCR screening.
  • aflatoxin B1
  • aflatoxin gene cluster
  • calmodulin
  • β-tubulin

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