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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF FUSARIUM VERTICILLIOIDES, FUMONISINS AND FUSARIUM DISEASES OF MAIZE

Location: Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens & Mycology Research Unit

Title: Genomic Analysis of Fusarium Verticillioides

Authors
item Brown, Daren
item Butchko, Robert
item Proctor, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Food Additives & Contaminants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 24, 2008
Publication Date: September 15, 2008
Citation: Brown, D.W., Butchko, R.A., Proctor, R. 2008. Genomic Analysis of Fusarium verticillioides. Journal of Food Additives & Contaminants. 25(9):1158-1165.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium verticillioides can often be isolated from corn. Sometimes this fungus causes disease and other times it does not. At any time, it can synthesize fumonisins, a family of toxins structurally similar to the cell wall building material and signaling molecule, sphinganine (a sphingolipid). Ingestion of fumonisin-contaminated corn has been associated with a number of animal diseases, including cancer. A primary goal of our laboratory is to eliminate fumonisin contamination of corn and corn products. To meet this goal, we are using genomic sequence data, Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs), and microarrays to identify F. verticillioides genes involved in biosynthesis of toxins and plant pathogenesis. This report describes the current status of F. verticillioides genomic resources, and three approaches we are using to mine microarray data. Taken together, these approaches demonstrate the power of microarray technology to provide information on different biological processes. Understanding how and why these toxins are made and the F. verticillioides-maize disease process will allow us to develop novel strategies to limit corn tissue destruction (rot) and fumonisin production and subsequent contamination of food and/or feed.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium verticillioides (teleomorph Gibberella moniliformis) can be either an endophyte of maize, causing no visible disease, or a pathogen causing disease of ears, stalks, roots and seedlings. At any stage, this fungus can synthesize fumonisins, a family of mycotoxins structurally similar to the sphingolipid sphinganine. Ingestion of fumonisin-contaminated maize has been associated with a number of animal diseases, including cancer, and has been epidemiologically associated with human esophageal cancer in some regions of the world. A primary goal of our laboratory is to eliminate fumonisins contamination of maize and maize products. Understanding how and why these toxins are made and the F. verticillioides-maize disease process will allow us to develop novel strategies to limit tissue destruction (rot) and fumonisin production. To meet this goal, we are using genomic sequence data, Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs), and microarrays to identify F. verticillioides genes involved in biosynthesis of toxins and plant pathogenesis. This report describes the current status of F. verticillioides genomic resources, and three approaches we are using to mine microarray data from a wild-type strain cultured in liquid fumonisin production medium for 12, 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 hrs. Taken together, these approaches demonstrate the power of microarray technology to provide information on different biological processes.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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