Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 2009
Publication Date: January 15, 2010
Citation: Chang, P-K. 2010. Aflatoxin Biosynthesis and Sclerotial Development in Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. In M. Rai and A. Varma (eds), Mycotoxins in Food, Feed and Bioweapons. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. p 77-92. Technical Abstract: Aflatoxins are a family of fungal secondary metabolites. They are produced by species in the genus Aspergillus. Within the last decade, significant advances have been made in understanding the biochemistry, genetics, and gene regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis. Many scientists have used aflatoxin biosynthesis as a model for studying fungal secondary metabolism. A number of studies have identified a genetic connection between aflatoxin biosynthesis and fungal development, such as sclerotial biogenesis. This article reviews gene organization and instability of the aflatoxin gene cluster, G-protein signaling pathway, calcium signaling pathway, and global regulators, such as laeA and veA on the regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis. It also addresses the sclerotial morphotypes, influence of nutrients and light on sclerotial development, and oxidative stress on aflatoxin biosynthesis and sclerotial biogenesis.