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Moore, Geromy [1], Mack, Brian [1], Beltz, Shannon [1], Gilbert, Matthew [1], Wendt, Karen [2], Anderson, Victoria [2], Cichewicz, Robert [2].

Assessing Genotype and Phenotype Diversity Among a Familial Population of Aspergillus flavus.

Important agricultural commodities (e.g., corn, cotton, peanut)  are at risk of infection by the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus flavus, which has the potential to contaminate them  with toxic secondary metabolites such as aflatoxin (AF) and/or cyclopiazonic acid (CPA). The discovery of a sexual state for A. flavus is relatively recent, and little is known about the genomic and metabolic impacts of meiotic recombination in a single generation. We investigated genotypic and phenotypic heritability for a group of 10 A. flavus F1 progenies. The parent strains included a mycotoxigenic MAT1-1 A. flavus strain and a non-aflatoxigenic MAT1-2 A. flavus strain that had been tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP). We selected 10 F1 progenies (half of which exhibited noticeable fluorescence), and then conducted classical vegetative compatibility group (VCG) testing to assess individualism. Four of the F1s were found to be unique VCGs. We then sequenced the genomes of  the parents and their F1 progenies to determine the amount of observable recombination. We observed obvious changes in several of the F1s indicating meiotic recombination had occurred, while the fluorescent F1s appeared clonal to the MAT1-2 parent. Heritability of GFP was determined  by the presence or absence of the construct in fluorescent or non-fluorescent F1s, respectively. We found all of the fluorescent F1s had inherited the complete construct. Three of the non-fluorescent F1s also contained the construct, although two of those three had highly mutated versions of the gpdA promoter region, which likely inhibited production of functional GFP. Finally, heritability of toxins (AF and/or CPA)  was assessed using LC-MS, and we found inheritance of mycotoxins in only one F1. Although evidence of meiotic recombination was observable in a single generation, phenotypic and genotypic findings for our small group of F1s indicate a high incidence of clonality to the non-aflatoxigenic parent, supporting  its ecological  stability  as a biocontrol agent in the field. However, analysis of  many more  F1s would be required to confirm or refute this.

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1 - SRRC, 1100 Robert E Lee Blvd, New Orleans, LA, 70124, USA
2 - University of Oklahoma, Natural Products Discovery Group, 101 Stephenson Parkway, Room 1000, Norman, OK, 73019, USA


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: MYP3, Mycology Posters III
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: MYP3012
Abstract ID:284
Candidate for Awards:None

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