Sexual recombination and the possibility of cryptic heterokaryosis in Aspergillus flavus

Ref ID: 18388


Rodrigo A. Olarte , Bruce W. Horn , James T. Monacell ,
Rakhi Singh , Eric A. Stone , Ignazio Carbone .

Author address:

Plant Pathology, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695 NPRL, USDA-ARS, Dawson, GA 39842 BRC, NCSU
Raleigh, NC 27695 Genetics, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695

Full conference title:

Asperfest 8


Aspergillus flavus infects both plants and animals and is of toxicological importance due to its production of aflatoxins (AFs). Recent efforts to reduce
AF concentrations have focused on the use of the biocontrols AF36 and Afla- Guard® , both of which contain nonaflatoxigenic A. flavus strains as an
active ingredient. Biocontrols are applied to fields, where they competitively exclude native aflatoxigenic strains. Although biocontrol is effective in
reducing AF contamination in crops, the extent to which these strains recombine with native strains and the overall effect on fungal populations are
unknown. Here we show that the recombination breakpoints in the F1 correlate with the breakpoints inferred from population genetic studies of natural
isolates. Furthermore, we demonstrate that a crossover event within the AF cluster can repair a nonsense mutation, resulting in a regained aflatoxinproducing phenotype. Finally, we observed non-Mendelian inheritance of extra-genomic AF cluster alleles in crosses with partial AF cluster parents,
suggesting a possible role of cryptic heterokaryosis, in addition to sexual recombination, in modulating AF production. Collectively, these processes may
contribute to increased effective population sizes and drive genetic and functional hyperdiversity in A. flavus.

Abstract Number: 68)

Conference Year: 2011

Link to conference website: NULL

New link: NULL

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